Northern Exposure: Plot | Storyline | Platforms | Release date

Everything exclusive you need to know about Northern Exposure Netflix.

There are so many shows that have been old but still ruling the memory and hearts of the people with their beyond awesome treatment and the characters that were worth recalling whenever you are hit by that nostalgia high like Northern Exposure and Freeks and geeks.

Therefore, with the advent of OTT platforms and online streaming services, entertainment from across the world, regardless of the time of their broadcast, has been brought closer to the reach of modern content-hungry consumers. The situation is only further amplified by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Today we would be talking about another old classic show that ruled the hearts back then and went on to grab awards as prestigious as Emmy! Well, we are talking about none other than Northern Exposure.

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About Northern Exposure

Northern Exposure is a show that aired on the channel CBS in the United States of America. The show falls in the genre of comedy-drama and ran for a full 110 episodes over five seasons from July 12, 1990, to July 26, 1995. The American regular sitcom told the story about the eccentric inhabitants of an imaginary small Alaskan village and how a Physician has to deal with them in uncomfortable situations.

The amazing and one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of American sitcoms was the creation of Joshua Brand and John Falsey. It was bankrolled by Universal Television and Cine-Nevada Productions. The show which was initially meant for a low-key introductory run, was turned into an award collecting six-season sitcom.

The series was later on released in DVD and Blu-Ray formats after it went off the air. The show is one of the highest-rated shows and pretty much the archetype for current television show formats. The show was pretty futuristic when it was released in the 1990s, the era that paved the way for the golden age of television.

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The Plot

northern exposure cast photoshoot
Northern Exposure cast full of amazing and talented actors.

The plot was very simple yet had space for good entertainment and laughs for the audience. The story takes us through the life of a snooty Jewish physician Joel Fleischman, a resident of New York City, who has recently graduated from a medical school there. The catch is that he has to fulfill a four-year contract whose provisions include serving the state of Alaska, which previously paid for his medical school education.

Now, it is possible that Joel skipped ceratin terms of his contract, which would allocate him to Cicely, a little town in the backwaters of Alaska. The place is particularly rural while the

doctor wants to stay in Manhattan or at least return back there ASAP. The town has a community of meager 214 residents who are excited at the prospect of the arrival of a new citizen.

Over time, much to Joel’s discomfort, he may come to terms with the fact that Cicely and its gentler ways are perhaps way more cultured than New York’s commotion as he deals with the daily routines and lives of such trusting and naive common people.

The town has a variety of people, each of them, very unique in their own aspects. They come from different backgrounds, ethnicities and can be pretty eccentric at times. Most of the comic–time enjoyed by the show comes from Joel’s interaction with people. These interesting people include Fleischman’s friends as wealthy Maurice J. Minnifield, former NASA astronaut; Maggie O’Connell, a spirited pilot.

Holling Vincoeur is the Mayor and owns the saloon and has a naïve, good-natured waitress sweetheart who is 40 years younger than him called Shelly Marie Tambo. Then there is Joel’s receptionist Marilyn Whirlwind, who is extremely wise but speaks scantily. We also meet the high on intellect Chris Stevens who’s disc jockey; extreme film fanatic Ed Chigliak and Ruth-Anne Miller, the owner of Kindly store along with various other residents, patients, etc from Cicely.

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Why isn’t Northern Exposure available on Netflix?

northern exposure cast reunion photoshoot
Northern Exposure’ cast reunites for a photoshoot and talks fondly about old memories

Despite being so famous, the show isn’t available on any streaming platform, let alone Netflix because of the problems caused by the music rights for the show. The DVD alone took more than a decade to release. Finally, in 2018, the series saw a blu-ray release with its original music. Many problems are there in acquiring the music rights and the creators are apprehensive of running the show along with the generic music that streaming platforms might use.

Netflix has denied the possibility of it acquiring the show anytime soon. Although, in the past decade, many advances to revive the sitcom has been made but none of them have seemed to yield any results or cross the finish line. Though the creators were willing to revive one of the greatest shows of all time.

Critical acclaim for Northern Exposure

revival of northern exposure with rob morrow
Revival of Northern Exposure with Rob Morrow

The show had received great responses from the audience since its commencement. Eventually, word-of-mouth and praise developed. It was awarded at the Museum of Television and Radio’s annual TV Festival in March 1991. Northern Exposure was accredited as “the greatest of the greatest television in the last ten years” by critic John Leonard.

The show, which had a strong and devoted audience, earned an Emmy Award for best drama in 1992. It also grabbed two Golden Globe Awards in the same category consecutively for two years 1993 and 1994.

The show received a whopping 57 award nominations and managed to win 27 of them, which include two more Primetime, Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, four Creative Arts Emmy Awards throughout the five years it was telecasted.

The show was immensely popular because of the breath of fresh air it brought along with pushing a few forbidden boundaries, like the display of same-sex marriage on television, a rarity in those days.


It’s a pity that such a great show cannot be watched or streamed on any platform currently and it is pretty shocking too. But again, it is what it is. We all can only hope that just like F.R.I.E.N.D.S and The Office, Netflix or some other streaming platform gets hold of this gem too so that contemporary viewers can also experience the amazing series.

After all, everyone has the right to classic good entertainment, regardless of when they were born.Let us now in the comment section what do you think about this awesome show and stay tuned for more awesome updates.


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