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Oscar nominees, Emmy winners, sci-fi icons, and sitcom stars return in reruns of 'The Doctors'

Hollywood lore holds that serialized stories, even primetime megahits like Dallas, Dynasty, or Desperate Housewives (as well as shows that don’t begin with the letter D), don’t do well in reruns.

That’s why Retro TV deciding to air two back-to-back episodes of The Doctors (not the one you’re thinking of; the daytime drama) every weekday starting this Monday, September 29, is big news in the worlds of both soaps and syndication.

Though The Doctors ran on NBC from 1963 to 1982, Retro TV plans to begin with the 1967 season, the first year the show switched to color.

However, this 21st-century airing of The Doctors isn’t merely for original fans of the show. Before They Were Stars spotters should also get a kick out of catching early glimpses of future Academy Award nominees, Daytime Emmy winners, cult sci-fi figures, and sitcom stars!

But you can’t tell the players without a program. Use our handy-dandy listing below as your guide!

Oscar Nominees

Alec Baldwin
Before he earned an Academy Award nomination for The Cooler or won two primetime Emmys for 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin made his television debut as Billy on The Doctors in 1980, getting killed off the show toward the end of its run.

Kathleen Turner
One of the suspects in Billy’s murder was scheming temptress Nola, but not as played by Kathleen Turner, who’d left the part in 1979 after playing it for close to two years. In her autobiography, Send Yourself Roses, Turner revealed that she was so confused by her character’s actions from day to day that she just decided to play Nola as perpetually drunk in order to justify it.

Daytime Emmy Winners

Kim Zimmer
Turner was replaced as Nola by actress Kim Zimmer (there was such a resemblance between the two at the time that in Turner’s film debut, Body Heat, Zimmer plays Mary Ann, the lookalike who helps facilitate Turner’s scam). After The Doctors, Zimmer passed through One Life to Live before making her biggest mark on daytime as Guiding Light’s Reva, winning four Emmys for the role.

Elizabeth Hubbard
When the Daytime Emmys were given their own broadcast in 1974, the winner for Outstanding Lead Actress was … Elizabeth Hubbard for The Doctors. She would go on to win another Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Actress in a Drama Special for First Ladies Diaries: Edith Wilson in 1976, and was nominated eight additional times for As the World Turns.

Hillary Bailey
As Hillary B. Smith, she won an Emmy in 1994 for One Life to Live, and played Margo on As the World Turns. But as just Hillary Bailey, she made her soap opera debut on The Doctors during the serial’s final year on air (she didn’t kill Billy either).


Ted Danson
Following a stint on Somerset, Danson appeared on The Doctors from 1977 to 1982 as a … doctor, natch. At the same time, he was headlining a series of TV commercials as the Aramis Man. Both of which likely prepared him for the role of that ultimate ladies’ man, Cheers’ Sam.

Julia Duffy
On Newhart, when Duffy’s spoiled rich-girl character acted up, her parents cut her loose without so much as a trust fund. On The Doctors, no matter what her character, Penny, did (and this included a murder charge—no, not Billy), her mother, as played by Elizabeth Hubbard, stuck by her. How else was she going to win that Emmy?


Gil Gerard
You might know him as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, or as the guy who needed an Action Hero Makeover. But first he spent two years, from 1974 to 1976, on The Doctors as yet another M.D. The show was constantly adding new ones. No wonder this was the only television program Dr. Benjamin Spock claimed to watch regularly.

Jonathan Frakes
To Star Trek fans, he’s Commander Will Riker of Next Generation. To die-hard soap fans, he’s the guy married to Genie Francis (Laura on General Hospital). Likely because they don’t remember his Doctors stint as a Vietnam vet who died in a fire. He also just missed another Trek actor, Nana Visitor, then going by her family name, Tucker, who joined the cast in 1980.

Jane Badler
Her stint on The Doctors didn’t include as much eating of rodents as her star-making turn in the series V, but Badler’s Natalie did finally figure out who killed Billy. It was another soap/sci-fi connection, but we’re not going to spoil it for you here.

More big names to pass through The Doctors included Kathy Bates (Misery), Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Armand Assante (Private Benjamin) and Ian Ziering (Sharknado).

Who are you most looking forward to seeing again? Tell us in the comments!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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