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Nightingales (1988-1989)

Executive Producers Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer

Cast of NightingalesCreators Frank Furino, Howard Lakin, Rita Lakin, Deborah Zoe Dawson


     Suzanne Pleshette  as  Christine Broderick
Barry Newman  as   Garrett Braden
Susan Walters  as  Bridget Loring
Chelsea Field  as  Samantha "Sam" Sullivan
Kristy Swanson  as  Becky Granger
Taylor Fry  as  Megan Sullivan
Fran Bennett  as  Head Nurse Lenore Ritt
Doran Clark  as  Charlene Chasen
Gil Gerard  as  Paul Petrillo
Jennifer Rhodes  as  Effie Gardner
Roxann Biggs  as  Yolanda 'Yolo' Elena Puente
Kim Ulrich  as  Allyson Yates




Nursing rating 1/2 star

Rating guide:
excellent = 4 stars; good = 3 stars;
fair = 2 stars, poor = 1 star

Artistic rating 1 1/2 stars

We have not had the opportunity to review these episodes ourselves. If you happen to have video of the show that you could loan us, we would be grateful.


On June 27, 1988, NBC aired a two-hour pilot of Nightingales, but then they passed on it for the fall season. Then another pilot (90-min) was aired on January 21, 1989 and then weekly episodes followed for a total of 14 episodes, the final which aired April 26, 1989. Thousands of nurses protested this depiction of nurses during the course of the show's running. The Pew Charitable Trusts gave $800,000 to nurses to help fight this and other negative media depictions of nurses.

In May 1989, advertisers, nurses and the show's producers reached an agreement to show less skin and more nursing expertise, but this was not enough to save the show. On May 10, NBC canceled the show.

Largely unbeknownst to the thousands of nurses who protested in 1989, the series aired in Sweden 8 years later, in 1997, according to IMDb.

Below are a few articles and websites to explain the Nightingales rise and fall:

Anchorage Daily News -- March 8, 1989 -- Abigail Trafford of the Washington Post gives an excellent analysis of the show as it affects nursing's image and women generally.

Modesto Bee -- February 15, 1989 -- Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times writes about the inanity of the show and how it has angered nurses across the country, except for one.

Kentucky New Era -- May 5, 1989 -- writes about the efforts to clean up Nightingales, which ultimately came too late.

Richmond News-Dispatch -- April 30, 1989 -- An abstract from Julie Young's "Nurses say "No" to Nightingales," which includes reaction to the show from nurses.

Aaron Spelling on NBC reasons for canceling the show



If you have more media to share on Nightingales, please let us know at Thank you!



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