Northern Exposure got some time in the Emmy spotlight 15 years ago today, snagging the trophy for Outstanding Drama Series. Two years prior, that golden glory was probably the furthest thing from CBS brass’ minds when the quirky, fish-out-of-water series premiered in July as a summer replacement. But with critical acclaim and a die-hard fanbase, the summer series that could earned itself a renewal for the regular season. Starring a dapper Rob Morrow (now on Numb3rs), Northern Exposure followed the plight of new med school grad Joel Fleischmann (Rob) as he is forced to relocate to the quaint, remote locale of Cicely, Alaska, from his metropolitan home base of New York City to practice medicine. Suffice it to say, big city doc isn’t too thrilled about small-town living. Rooted in its eccentric characters and exploration of the American northwest frontier, the show is credited for paving the way for current-day dramedies, such as Gilmore Girls (R.I.P.), Ugly Betty and, its not-so-subtle duplicate, Men in Trees. In addition to its Emmy triumph, Exposure was also honored two years in a row (1991-92) by the prestigious Peabody Awards for excellence in television.The cult favorite burned out by 1995 when Rob left midway through the sixth and final season, leaving Cicely without its urban bloodline.By Joyce Eng

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