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The Final Episode of Chicago Hope Aired 21 Years Ago Today

  • On May 4, 2000, CBS aired this final episode of Chicago Hope, David E. Kelley's hit medical drama that starred future NCIS stars Mark Harmon, Rocky Carroll, and Lauren Holly, as well as Adam Arkin, Hector Elizondo, Carla Gugino, Barbara Hershey, and future Criminal Minds stars Thomas Gibson and Mandy Patinkin. While it generally ran in the shadow of NBC's Chicago-based hospital saga ER, which premiered one day after Chicago Hope in 1994, it nonetheless ran for six seasons and won seven Emmy Awards — including acting nods for Elizondo, Patinkin, and Christine Lahti.

    In this final episode, the private hospital is being sold by its parent company, an evil HMO, giving its new CEO Hugh Miller (James Garner, The Rockford Files) a limited amount of time to devise a way to save the jobs of its staff. The plan involves a gamble that Dr. Jack McNeil (Harmon) can successfully restore spinal function to a quadriplegic with an illegal procedure that involves surgically implanting an experiemental microchip. 

    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: Chicago Hope, CBS, Adam Arkin, Carla Gugino, David E. Kelley, Hector Elizondo, James Garner, Lauren Holly, Mandy Patinkin, Mark Harmon, Rocky Carroll