Doogie Howser, M.D.
Synopsis of TV Show
Besides being a character with one of the strangest names ever in the annals in television, Doogie Howser of Doogie Howser, M.D. was also one of the smartest. He was a child genius who breezed through high school, college and medical school before he could grow facial hair, eventually becoming a doctor who was younger than most of his patients.
Neil Patrick Harris starred as the sixteen-year-old genius who worked as a second-year resident at Eastman Medical Center. The structure of the show was unusual in its day, because it mixed both drama and comedy in a half-hour format with with no laugh track, in a vein similar to the late 90's hit Ally McBeal. Doogie lived at home with his parents, mom Katherine and fellow doctor dad David.
Because Doogie spent most of his time working and interacting with adults, he relied on his best friend Vinnie Delpino and girlfriend Wanda to keep him in touch with his inner teenager. Doogie had to deal with intense life and death situations in his work, but he also had to deal with sex, relationships, and coming of age as a young man in his own life. The show depicted all of these personal struggles in a humorous and realistic way.
In fact, the real surprise of the show was just how believable Doogie was. Doogie didn’t come off as superhuman or geeky; he was just a normal kid with a high I.Q. Although his life was quite extraordinary, the audience had no problem relating to Doogie as a person. The creators of the series, Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue) and David E. Kelley (L.A. Law, The Practice), are known for creating memorbable and realistic characters such as Doogie.
What also helped make Doogie into such a credible character was the journal entry he made into his computer at the end of each episode. One week, Doogie might have an incredible insight about the value of life and the next, he could be dealing with the painful teenage ritual of breaking up with his girlfriend. Either way, he was a person you couldn’t help but admire and, more importantly, like.
Release History of Prime Time Show9/19/89 - 7/21/93 ABC
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
Television StudioSteven Bochco Productions
TV CastDouglas "Doogie" Howser Neil Patrick Harris
Vinnie Delpino Max Casella
Katherine O'Brien Howser Belinda Montgomery
Doctor David Howser James Sikking
Nurse Curly Spaulding Kathryn Layng
Dr. Jack McGuire (1989-91) Mitchell Anderson
Wanda Plenn (1989-92) Lisa Dean Ryan
Janine Stewart (1989-92) Lucy Boryer
Doctor Canfield Lawrence Pressman
Raymond Alexander (1990-93) Markus Redmond
Dr. Ron Welch (1990-93) Rif Hutton
Nurse Michele Faber (1991-93) Robyn Lively