The Classic Quincy TV Show: The C.S.I. Franchise Thanks You

Quincy, M.E. was a popular American crime drama television series that aired on NBC from 1976 to 1983. The show was created by Glen A. Larson and Lou Shaw and produced by Universal Television. The series follows the life of Dr. Quincy, a medical examiner who works for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. The show was known for its unique approach to crime-solving and its emphasis on forensic science.

The show starred Jack Klugman as Dr. Quincy, a role that earned him four Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. Quincy, M.E. ran for a total of eight seasons and 148 episodes.

Quincy, M.E. received critical acclaim and was nominated for numerous awards during its run, including 16 Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. The show also featured several memorable guest stars, including Tom Selleck, John Travolta, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The show’s theme song, “Quincy’s Theme,” was composed by Glen A. Larson and Stu Phillips and became a hit in its own right. The success of Quincy, M.E. also led to the creation of two spin-off series, Quincy and Quincy, M.E. Returns. Behind the scenes, the show was known for its innovative approach to storytelling and its use of cutting-edge technology to create realistic crime scenes and forensic evidence.

Genre

The show was unique in that it focused on the investigations of a medical examiner rather than a traditional detective or police officer. The show was also known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the medical examiner’s job, which included performing autopsies and investigating suspicious deaths. It wouldn’t be out of order to say that the long-lasting and beloved C.S.I. franchise has its roots in our very own Dr. Quincy.

The show was a blend of genres, including crime drama, medical drama, and mystery. It was also known for its social commentary, as many of the episodes dealt with issues such as healthcare, government corruption, and social justice.

Jack Klugman as Quincy M.E. gets angry and yells at someone off-screen

Quincy was a popular show during its run, and it helped to pave the way for other medical dramas such as ER and House.

Cast of Quincy

The show starred Jack Klugman as Dr. R. Quincy, a brilliant and dedicated medical examiner who worked for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Quincy was known for his sharp mind, his tenacity, and his unwavering commitment to justice.

the cast of Quincy, M.E.

‚Äč‚ÄčThroughout the show’s seven seasons, Quincy was joined by a talented and diverse cast of actors who brought their characters to life in memorable and compelling ways. Some of the most notable cast members included:

  • Robert Ito as Sam Fujiyama, Quincy’s loyal lab assistant
  • John S. Ragin as Dr. Robert Asten, Quincy’s boss at the Coroner’s Office
  • Garry Walberg as Lt. Frank Monahan, Quincy’s friend and ally in the police department
  • Val Bisoglio as Danny Tovo, Quincy’s friend and fellow medical examiner
  • Joseph Roman as Sgt. Brill, a gruff but lovable police detective who often worked with Quincy

Together, these actors formed a tight-knit ensemble that brought humor, heart, and drama to every episode of Quincy, M.E. Their performances helped to make the show a beloved classic of 1970s and 1980s television.

One last note… The character of Quincy was actually based on a real-life medical examiner named Dr. Thomas Noguchi. The show’s creator, Glen A. Larson, was inspired by Noguchi’s work and wanted to create a character just as dedicated to solving mysteries and helping people. Thanks, Dr. Noguchi!

Quincy in the forensics lab talking to another professional near a microscope

Number of Seasons and Episodes

Quincy, M.E. ran for a total of 8 seasons and 148 episodes. Each episode of the show had a runtime of approximately 60 minutes.

The first season of Quincy, M.E. had 15 episodes, while the remaining seven seasons had 20 episodes each. The show was a hit with audiences and was consistently ranked in the top 20 most-watched shows during its run.

Jack Klugman as Quincy, M.E., looks at the camera with anatomical skeleton in the background

Awards

Over the course of its run, Quincy received several award nominations and wins. The show was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Jack Klugman, Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series. The show’s only win came in 1983 for Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Series.

Quincy also received several nominations for other awards such as the Golden Globes and the People’s Choice Awards. Jack Klugman won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama in 1977.

Although the show did not receive many awards, it was well-received by audiences and critics alike. Quincy was praised for its realistic portrayal of the medical examiner profession and tackling social issues such as euthanasia and drug abuse.

Memorable Guest Stars

Throughout its run, Quincy featured many notable guest stars, many of whom were already well-known actors at the time. Some of the most memorable guest stars include:

  • John Saxon
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Robert Englund
  • David Morse
  • Sharon Stone
  • Robert Reed
  • Markie Post
  • Lauren Tewes
  • John Hillerman
  • Michael Constantine
  • Donna Mills
  • Shelley Fabares

Many of these guest stars had successful careers in Hollywood, with some even becoming household names. For example, Kim Cattrall would later star in the hit TV series Sex and the City, while Robert Englund would achieve cult status as the iconic horror villain Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

One particularly memorable guest star was Jack Klugman’s former co-star from The Odd Couple, Tony Randall. The two actors had great chemistry on screen, and their scenes together were a highlight of the episode.

Another notable guest star was Tom Selleck, who appeared in a 1980 episode titled “Seldom Silent, Never Heard.” Selleck played a deaf photographer accused of murder, and Quincy must use his medical expertise to clear his name. Selleck, of course, later portrayed Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I., another TV classic.

Theme Song

The theme song of Quincy, titled “Quincy’s Theme,” was composed by Glen A. Larson and Stu Phillips. The song is a catchy instrumental piece that perfectly captures the essence of the show. It begins with a jazzy saxophone riff that is followed by a funky guitar solo. The song has become iconic and is instantly recognizable to fans of the show.

quincy M.E. in the autopsy room with police listening to him lecture

Interestingly, the theme song was not used in the first season of the show. Instead, the opening credits featured a different piece of music. However, the producers decided to switch to “Quincy’s Theme” for the second season, and it remained the show’s theme song for the rest of its run.

Over the years, the theme song has been covered by various artists and has been used in other TV shows and movies. It has also been sampled in several hip-hop songs, including “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West.

Spin-offs

Despite its success, Quincy did not have any official spin-offs. However, several attempts to create spin-offs never came to fruition. In the mid-1980s, a spin-off called “Quincy, M.E.: Next Generation” was proposed, which would have followed the son of Quincy, played by a young actor named Michael Cavanaugh. However, the show was never produced.

Another proposed spin-off was “Quincy, M.E.: The Coroner’s Files.” This spin-off would have followed Quincy’s assistant Sam Fujiyama, played by Robert Ito, as he became a coroner in his own right. However, this idea was also scrapped.

Despite the lack of official spin-offs, Quincy significantly influenced the genre of medical dramas. Many shows that followed, such as ER and Grey’s Anatomy, were heavily influenced by Quincy’s realistic portrayal of medical procedures and its focus on social issues.