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TV

"L.A. Doctors"

'L.A. Doctors' hoping for healthy prognosis

Web posted on: Tuesday, September 22, 1998 3:00:52 PM

From Correspondent Dennis Michael

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- As the fall television season gets underway this week, one particular series is being closely watched by the networks. CBS's "L.A. Doctors" debuted Monday night with an unusual agenda -- finding a niche in a market already crowded with award-winning contenders.

The series about four doctors practicing in Los Angeles might easily be construed as an "ER" or "Chicago Hope" of the west. But the actors on the new show say this drama about the medical profession offers a different twist -- comedy.

Finding the balance

Matt Craven, who plays Dr. Tim Lonner, says a sense of humor is prescribed for doctors.

"Because what they deal with is pretty harsh, and their humor is very dark, stuff we couldn't even do on TV really," says Craven. "The balance is a hard one to achieve, but so far we're having fun with it, which is the most important thing."

Craven

"L.A. Doctors" also differs from its competition in that the plots don't revolve around injuries and disease. It's about four people, and their lives both at work and outside of it.

Springboards into personal lives

"It's like a medical show, secondary to the fact that it's about people trying to do in most cases the right thing or the thing that should be done," says Rick Roberts, who plays Dr. Evan Newman. "The doctors do, because of that, get into strange situations and put themselves on the line. The medical stories are kind of the springboards into the lives of these people."

So emulating "ER" and "Chicago Hope" isn't the goal here -- for the most part.

"Aren't those shows successful? We want to be just like them," jokes Craven, who likes his show's chances. "I think we have a pretty good shot to stay on the air for a while, but you never know."

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