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Rachel Gunn, R.N. aired from June until September 1992 on FOX.

The elective surgery floor of Little Innocence Hospital in Nebraska was the setting for this medical comedy. Sarcastic Rachel Gunn ( Christine Ebersole) was the unit's dedicated hard working and underpaid head nurse. The prime target of her vitriol was arrogant young Dr. David Dunkle ( Kevin Conroy), a talented but selfish surgeon whose condescending attitude toward patients and staff was a constant thorn in her side. In an ironic twist, since he needed inexpensive housing following a costly divorce and she needed a tenant for the duplex apartment she owned, Rachel became his landlord. Other regulars were Becky ( Megan Mullally), a young naive and overly enthusiastic new nurse on the floor; Zac ( Bryan Brightcloud), a Native American male nurse whose service in Vietnam had prepared him well for Rachel's disciplined unit; Dane ( Dan Tullis ,Jr.), the black orderly whose aspiration to become a nurse was somewhat in doubt since he was afraid of blood; Sister Joan ( Kathleen Mitchell), the peppy black nun who ministered to both patients and staff; and Jeannette(Lois Foraker), the hospital's obnoxious fat dietitian.

A Review from Variety

Rachel Gunn R.N. the House of Rachel
((Sun.(28), 8:30-9 p.m., FBC))
Jun 26, 1992

Filmed at Sunset Gower Studios by Columbia Pictures TV. Exec producer-writer-creator, Katherine Green; supervising producer, Russell Marcus; producers, Jon Spector, Jack Bernstein, Kim Weiskopf; director, John Whitesell.

Cast: Christine Ebersole, Kevin Conroy, Megan Mullally, Bfyan Brightcloud, Lois Foraker, Dand Tullis Jr., Kathleen Mitchell, Timothy J. Wrightman, Debi Monahan, Cliff Emmich.

New nurses sitcom features Christine Ebersole as a sassy head lady-in-white in a Nebraska hospital, with "Rachel Gunn R.N." actors flicking their not-so-funny lines to the wings in approved summer stock fashion. Lordy, Ebersole wins applause on her upstage entry; even Julie Andrews didn't merit that.

Gunn's able-bodied, attractive and flippant as she plays to subordinates and against divorced Dr. David Dunkle (Kevin Conroy) in what's bound to be a running feud between them. But writer Kathleen Green arms Gunn and staff with blatant lines and tired situations aimed at reaping laughs; they mostly miss.

Second-string players include Megan Mullally as zippy young nurse Becky Jo; Bryan Brightcloud as an American Indian nurse supposedly the butt of lots of knee-slapping Indian gags; Kathleen Mitchell as Sister Joan, who's not too bright; Lois Foraker as a dietician who adores junk food; Dane Grey as an orderly who's involved in something obscene with a potato.

Gunn owns a duplex she rents to nemesis Dunkle before she learns that handsome hunk Thor (Timothy J. Wrightman) is seeking a place to hang his muscles. Trying to renege on her agreement with Dunkle, Gunn finds herself with the short end of the deal.

Innuendoes, muscles and Indian jokes and medical one-liners pass unabashedly through Green's thin script in which Thor's banished from the storyline on the weakest of excuses. John Whitesell has directed the determinedly cheerful first of 13 programs with community theater results; for summer, it should earn its own way.

An Article from The LA Times

How Fox Got Two Sitcoms From 'the Competition' : Television: After spending millions on a pair of shows that didn't fit into their fall lineups, CBS and NBC executives ignored the rules and sold them.

If you were a TV executive, what would you do after deciding that a new show you've spent $1 million or more creating is not quite right for your network?

Traditionally, you would probably kill the project, take the write-off and go back to the drawing board.

But with increased pressure to find cost-cutting alternatives in the network television business, which is growing riskier with each season, executives are revising some of their timeworn practices to make more economic sense.

That's why "Rachel Gunn, R.N.," premiering Sunday night, and "Woops!," coming this fall, are showing up on Fox when they were originally developed for other networks.

When CBS executives screened the six "Rachel Gunn" episodes they had ordered last year--the comedy series stars comedian Christene Ebersole as a no-nonsense nurse--there was a feeling that the show's outrageous attitude did not quite fit on the stately CBS network.

"It looked more like a Fox show than one of our shows," a CBS executive said.

Similarly, when NBC executives took a look at the pilot for "Woops!" last spring--a sort of post-apocalyptic "Gilligan's Island"--they didn't feel that the show's goofy premise meshed with any other programming on the network.

Normally, proceedings would have ended there. Rather than let their shows slip into the hands of the competition, CBS and NBC would likely have written off their development costs--estimated at $3 million for six episodes of "Rachel Gunn" and $1 million for the "Woops!" pilot.

But the economics of the business are rapidly changing, said Rich Frank, president of the Walt Disney Studios, and networks can no longer afford that kind of thinking. So CBS and NBC allowed their series to be swept up and added to the Fox schedule at the last minute to save them from what might have been a permanent shelf life.

Columbia Pictures Television returned the license fees that CBS paid for the right to broadcast the "Rachel Gunn" episodes--essentially buying them back--and sold the series to Fox. Similarly, Touchstone Television returned NBC's investment in the "Woops!" pilot and was reimbursed by Fox, which ordered 13 episodes.

Executives at both studios suggested that these kind of deals could become commonplace industry practices in the next few years.

"In the past, a network might have been willing to swallow a $1-million or $2-million cost as a defensive move," said Frank, whose studio is producing "Woops!" with Witt-Thomas Productions. "In other words, the network would have said, 'We know they want it, but let's not let them have it.'

"That doesn't make sense anymore," Frank said. "I think all the networks are offensive-minded now: 'If we like a show, let's do something with it. And if we don't like it, let's cut our losses or even get our money back.' It gives them that $1-million or $2-million investment back to do something else with the money."

Although TV series periodically play network hopscotch, they usually do so after airing for a season or two and building up a regular following. That was the case with NBC's "In the Heat of the Night" and "The Golden Girls"--retooled and retitled "Golden Palace"--which are moving over to CBS this fall.

Now TV series are making the switch in their earliest stages of development. CBS first began developing "Rachel Gunn" for last year's fall season with country singeT. Oslin in the lead role of the feisty nurse (Oslin eventually pulled out and was replaced by Ebersole). The pilot for the Norman Lear sitcom "The Powers That Be," which premiered on NBC earlier this year and is returning next season, was also shot and developed for CBS last year.

And "Woops!" is believed to be the first time that a series has switched networks in the same fleeting development season.

"We didn't want to fall between the cracks," said co-executive producer Tony Thomas, whose show is a social satire about the world's six diverse survivors of an accidental nuclear holocaust. "NBC said they would consider the show for mid-season, but mid-season is iffy. And the pilot would have been sitting for a year, and it's hard to breathe life back into it. We didn't want to take that chance."

So NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield, who has established a friendly relationship with Thomas on such hit NBC series as "Empty Nest," "Nurses" and "Blossom," agreed to let Thomas go to Fox, where "Woops!" creator Katherine Green had served as co-executive producer of the hit series "Married . . . With Children."

This new network willingness to swap projects, industry sources observe, may be borrowed from the movie industry. Feature films developed by one studio regularly go into "turnaround," where the original studio releases rights to the project and another studio takes over production.

"That's an accepted part of the feature development process," noted Scott Siegler, president of Columbia Pictures Television, which is a partner in both "Rachel Gunn" and "The Powers That Be." "That's been less true in television, and I don't think any of us quite knew why. From an economic and professional point of view, it made no sense. You spend a lot of time and money developing these things, and the idea that they wouldn't be useful to other networks is a little crazy.

"The Holy Grail has always been: How do we make this business more economical? There are a lot of attempts, and I think this is one of them," Siegler said. "I think it also represents a maturing of the business. It's a more sensible approach to doing business. If someone sees a show that will work on their network, pride of development is a silly kind of egotism that most executives don't feel makes much sense anymore."

In addition to loosening trade restrictions for series under development, the networks are also developing more in-house series, commissioning fewer pilots during the development season and ordering fewer episodes once they've decided to pick up a series--all in the name of returning profits to network television.

"The network business is more businesslike now," Siegler said, "and it's not as much an old-fashioned monopoly. They're operating on more sensible business and creative levels."

A Review from the Deseret News


By Scott D. Pierce, Television Editor
Published: June 27, 1992 12:00 am

Christine Ebersole is a bright, talented, charismatic and thoroughly enjoyable comedic actress.

Unfortunately, her new sitcom - "Rachel Gunn, R.N." - is nowhere near as good as Ebersole is.Rachel is a no-nonsense nurse who's overworked, underpaid - and hates doctors.

And there's little wonder, since the only doctor seen in Sunday's premiere (7:30 p.m., Ch. 13) is an obnoxious, arrogant jerk (played by Kevin Conroy).

There's also a Native American male nurse (Bryan Brightcloud), who spawns bad Indian jokes. And a ditzy, naive nun (Kathleen Mitchell), who spawns bad nun jokes.

There are also bad jokes about bodily functions, fat people, elderly people, sex, birth control - a smorgasbord of bad taste.

The premiere's plot, such as it is, revolves around Rachel's efforts to rent out the other half of her duplex. And there are some genuinely funny moments that have much more to do with Ebersole's wonderful comedic timing than with the lines themselves.

But there are also bits involving a airbrained sex kitten of a nurse and a male stripper that are simply prurient, not funny. (Would it surprise you to learn that "Gunn" was created by one of the executive producers of "Married . . . With Children?")

Believe it or not, "Gunn" was originally produced for CBS, but that network had the good sense to dump it. Fox then picked it up - perhaps at a discount price.

Theoretically, they must have had an OK sitcom on the drawing board. And there are certainly much less talented actresses than Ebersole headlining successful comedies these days. (Think Tuesday at 8 p.m. for just one example.)

But the producers and writers were unable to resist taking the low sitcom road. Too bad.MORE ADVENTURES: Fox is debuting yet another sitcom - "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures" premieres Sunday at 6 p.m.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about this show. Fox did not choose to send out review cassettes, so I haven't seen it.

However, the simple fact that Fox didn't want the show reviewed should tell you something. As should the fact that this was originally scheduled to premiere last fall. And that the original order for 13 episodes was cut to seven.

At any rate, this sitcom is based on the feature films, although the stars of the movie are not involved in this incarnation. In the sitcom, Bill is played by Evan Richards and Ted by Christopher Kennedy.

And Fox promises that this will be a bodacious show about two most excellent dudes.

Well, we'll see.

For another review go to

To watch clips of Rachel Gunn R.N. go to

For more on Rachel Gunn R.N. go to,_R.N.

For the Official Site of Christine Ebersole go to
Date: Sun April 2, 2017 Filesize: 53.4kb, 89.9kb Dimensions: 783 x 1000
Keywords: The Cast of Rachel Gunn R.N. (Links Updated 8/2/18)



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