Northern Exposure is an American comedy-drama television series created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey which follows Joel Fleishman, fresh out of medical college, who fails to read the fine print in his scholarship conditions and finds he has no choice but to move to the remote and somewhat eccentric town of Cicely, in the wilds of Alaska.
Once there, he is welcomed by the peculiar locals who are not keen to see him go, most especially Maurice Minnifield, the ex-NASA astronaut. Despite Joel's adamant denials, one gets the impression that he enjoys life in Cicely more than he admits.
The series aired in the USA on CBS from 12 July, 1990 to 26 July, 1995. There are 110 hour-long episodes in six seasons.
Northern Exposure originally aired in South Africa on the old TV1 (which became SABC3 in 1996) from 17 February, 1993 to 19 March, 2000. The first four seasons were broadcast in Afrikaans as Goeie Môre, Alaska! and simulcast in English on Radio 2000. When the SABC underwent an overhaul in 1996 the series began airing on SABC3 from the first season in its original English form (as Northern Exposure), until the series ended in 2000.
Northern Exposure later aired on DStv's Comedy Central channel, from 2011-2012. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 5 originally aired on SABC3 from 19 October, 1997 to 29 March, 1998, on Sundays at 21h00. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Season 5 premiered on Comedy Central on Sunday 15 July 2012, at 13h40. New episodes broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time. There are 24 episodes in the fifth season.
Joel Fleischman is a nebbishy Jewish doctor from New York City and a fresh-faced medical school graduate. He's also about to begin the four year service contract he promised to the state of Alaska, who financed his education.
But he just happened to forget reading some of the stipulations in his contract, that has assigned him to the small post of Cicely, Alaska. A town of 215 people that welcomes it's newest resident with open arms.
As he contends with the daily lives and rituals of these all too normal and trusting folk, Joel just might realise that Cicely's quieter ways are probably more civilized than the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
Made up of Cicely's various residents, patients and friends of Fleischman include wealthy former astronaut Maurice Minnifield; feisty pilot Maggie O'Connell; mayor and saloon owner Holling Vincoeur; his sweet, naive waitress girlfriend Shelly Tambo (who's old enough to be his daughter); intellectual ex-con and disc jockey Chris Stevens; Joel's far wiser and very quiet receptionist Marilyn Whirlwind; kindly store owner Ruth-Anne Miller, and avid film buff Ed Chigliak.
The people are just a little weird, but in their own special way they capture the doctor's heart and he finds it very difficult to leave.
Note: TV1 became SABC3 in 1996.
Season 1 (8 episodes)
Channel: TV1 | Premiere: 17 Feb 1993 | Finale: 7 Apr 1993 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 10 Dec 2011 | Finale: 1 Jan 2012 | Sat/Sun, 14h00
Season 2 (7 episodes)
Channel: TV1 | Premiere: 14 Apr 1993 | Finale: 26 May 1993 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 7 Jan 2012 | Finale: 28 Jan 2012 | Sat/Sun, 14h00
Season 3 (23 episodes)
Channel: TV1 | Premiere: 2 Jun 1993 | Finale: 17 Nov 1993 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 29 Jan 2012 | Finale: 15 Apr 2012 | Sat/Sun, 14h00
Season 4 (25 episodes)
Channel: TV1 | Premiere: 7 Jun 1995 | Finale: 22 Nov 1995 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 21 Apr 2012 | Finale: 14 Jul 2012 | Sat/Sun, 14h00
Season 5 (24 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 19 Oct 1997 | Finale: 29 Mar 1998 | Sundays, 21h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 15 Jul 2012 | Finale: 6 Oct 2012 | Sat/Sun, 13h40
Season 6 (23 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 17 Oct 1999 | Finale: 19 Mar 2000 | Sundays, 22h00
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 7 Oct 2012 | Finale: 23 Dec 2012 | Sat/Sun, 13h30