‘Northern Exposure’ The Latest Long-Gone TV Show To Be In Revival Talks, Could Return To CBS In 2019

Rob Morrow will reprise his role as Dr. Joel Fleischman, according to reports.

northern exposure star rob morrow
Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

Rob Morrow will reprise his role as Dr. Joel Fleischman, according to reports.

Northern Exposure, the quirky 90’s sitcom about the goings-on in a weird Alaska town, is the latest old TV show to be the subject of possible revival talks, Variety is reporting. In fact, a development deal is already underway to bring the show back to CBS, reports the entertainment industry magazine.

For those not familiar, Northern Exposure aired on CBS from 1990 to 1995. Initially, the comedy focused on the fish-out-of-water story of Dr. Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow), a big-city doctor from New York who tried (and often failed) to successfully integrate into life in the fictitious small town of Cicely, Alaska. The townsfolk consisted of a handful of quirky characters who made Dr. Fleischman’s culture shock even worse.

Though critically-acclaimed and a ratings powerhouse, by the end of the series, its ratings, though still strong, had begun to decline. Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes drama, mostly involving Morrow’s angling for better contracts and his eventual phasing out of the scripts. A move to a less-favorable time slot spelled doom for the show, according to an Entertainment Weekly report from the time, and even though the show had “a lot of life in it,” as executive producer Andrew Schneider said at the time, it was canceled after six seasons.

Now, however, the show appears to be poised to make a comeback. After a week or so of rumors, Variety has confirmed that a revival of the show is, indeed, in development.

What’s more, Morrow is tapped to reprise his role as Dr. Fleischman. His character will return to Cicely to attend the funeral of an unnamed “old friend,” and will once again be drawn into the world of the strange characters who inhabit the town.

Besides Morrow, other people affiliated with the show’s original run are set to come back. John Corbett, who starred alongside Morrow in the original run, is attached as a producer, though it does not appear that he will appear on-screen. Josh Brand, John Falsey, and Ben Silverman will all either write or executive produce.

Northern Exposure is the latest in an ever-growing list of TV shows being brought back from the dead, with mixed results. Already NBC has brought back Will & Grace, and ABC has brought back Roseanne, which was later retooled as The Conners after star Roseanne Barr’s much-publicized behavior off-screen. CBS is currently airing a revival of Murphy Brown.

Meanwhile, Northern Exposure isn’t the only old show currently in talks to be brought back. ABC, for example, is reportedly working on a revival of NYPD Blue.