|Also known as||U.M.C. (pilot only)|
|Created by||Al C. Ward|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||171|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original release||September 24, 1969 -|
September 6, 1976
The show starred James Daly as Dr. Paul Lochner and Chad Everett as Dr. Joe Gannon, surgeons working in an otherwise unnamed university hospital in Los Angeles. The show focused both on the lives of the doctors as well as the patients showcased each week. At the core of the series was the tension between youth and experience, as seen between Drs. Lochner and Gannon. Besides his work as a surgeon, Gannon, because of his age, also worked as the head of the Student Health Department at the University. Helping the doctors was the very efficient Nurse Eve Wilcox, played by Audrey Totter. She started out as a bit role but was eventually upgraded to co-star status starting in 1972. Wilcox became a regular after two other similar nurses (Nurse Chambers, played by actress Jayne Meadows; and Nurse Murphy played by actress Jane Dulo) had basically served the same functions as Wilcox.
The series' pilot film, U.M.C., was televised on CBS on April 17, 1969, starring Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Lee Forestman and Richard Bradford as Dr. Joe Gannon, with Daly and Totter appearing in the roles they would later play in the series; the film also starred Kim Stanley, Maurice Evans, Kevin McCarthy, and Shelley Fabares. In the film, a widow accused Dr. Gannon of allowing her husband to die, in order for his heart to be implanted into Dr. Forestman, who was a mentor and friend to Dr. Gannon.
The pilot telefilm was released as a part of the Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) Warner Archive Collection from Warner Bros. on January 12, 2010, as Operation Heartbeat. Warner Archive titles are available exclusively through Warner's online store and only in the United States.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||April 17, 1969|
|1||26||September 24, 1969||April 15, 1970|
|2||24||September 16, 1970||March 10, 1971|
|3||24||September 15, 1971||March 8, 1972|
|4||24||September 13, 1972||February 28, 1973|
|5||24||September 10, 1973||April 15, 1974|
|6||24||September 9, 1974||March 24, 1975|
|7||24||September 8, 1975||March 15, 1976|
The show's Nielsen ratings are as follows:
Warner Bros. has released the seven seasons on DVD in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. These are manufacture-on-demand (MOD) releases, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
|DVD name||Ep. #||Release date|
|The Complete First Season||26||July 12, 2011|
|The Complete Second Season||24||September 18, 2012|
|The Complete Third Season||24||June 25, 2013|
|The Complete Fourth Season||24||March 18, 2014|
|The Complete Fifth Season||24||July 15, 2014|
|The Complete Sixth Season||24||March 15, 2016|
|The Complete Seventh Season||24||July 19, 2016|