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Modern Hospital TV Hits Since 1990: 7 Shows That Grab Highest Ratings

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 04:05 PM

Several modern television shows revolving around hospitals garnered great ratings and stayed on top of the TV charts for years, drawing dedicated fans through their entire run.

Television shows set in hospitals score on two fronts: The drama (or comedy) inherent in the struggle to heal the sick and save lives, and the drama (or comedy) inherent in people working together in a high-pressure situation.

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Here are seven modern medical-centered TV shows made since 1990 that got some of the highest ratings, according to the Internet Movie Database:

1. "ER" (1994)
A medical drama created by the master of medical drama, this Michael Crichton creation focuses on the lives of the people — doctors, nurses, medical students, and everyone else — who work the emergency room at a Chicago hospital. The last "ER" episode in 2009 drew the highest ratings for a drama finale since "Murder, She Wrote."

2. "Chicago Hope" (1994)
Another Chicago hospital, this time out of the emergency room and into the daily intrigue of administration battles, faces cases that are ethically questionable as well as medically complex, and the toll it takes on the lives of those who fight those battles. "Chicago Hope" didn't do quite as well as "ER," but earned critical acclaim and at its highest point drew viewers in 11.9 million households.

3. "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
The title's a takeoff on the definitive Gray's Anatomy book for medical and pre-med students, but the show centers around a surgeon named Meredith Grey, and the people around her at a Seattle hospital. The show, currently in its 12th season, has consistently had high ratings among viewers ages 18-49.

4. "Nip/Tuck" (2003)
One's a family man, the other's a playboy. Together, they try to maintain their plastic surgery partnership in Miami while dealing with everything else life sends their way. The show's ratings set records for the FX network it aired on.

5. "Scrubs" (2001)
This comedic take on the medical profession gives us the view from the bottom, as an intern works his way up in what IMDB calls, "The unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital." "Scrubs" launched the career of star Zach Braff, and earned critical acclaim throughout its run.

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6. "House M.D." (2004)
Dr. Gregory House is irascible, anti-social, drug-dependent, and always in trouble with the boss, but if the rest of the doctors can't figure out what's ailing you — well, let's just say you want that House call. The drama became Fox's most-watched show besides "American Idol," with its highest ratings in Season 3. The show and its star were nominated for numerous awards.

7. "Nurse Jackie" (2009)
Nobody's perfect, nurse "Jackie" Peyton least of all. She fights her drug addiction, she fights to keep her job, she fights to keep what's left of her life. She just fights. While "Nurse Jackie" wasn't a ratings standout, its dedicated viewership was enough to keep the series running for seven seasons.

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Several modern television shows revolving around hospitals garnered great ratings and stayed on top of the TV charts for years, drawing dedicated fans through their entire run.
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Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 04:05 PM
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