On July 12, 1990, CBS aired the first episode of Northern Exposure as a summer replacement series. It’s been 25 years, people!

The show was something no one had ever seen before or since. Part drama and part comedy, Northern Exposure was a show which was imaginative but grounded, and dealt with serious issues like death and existence while finding the laughter and absurdity in this life of ours. Instead of excluding people, the show included all, and it celebrated the uniqueness of the individual no matter how different their culture, class, or values.

Watching it as a young teenager, the show opened doors to a world I’d never dreamt of. It exposed me to writers (Whitman, Dickinson, Kafka, Dostoevsky) who would later be so important to my life. It exposed me to ideas that I didn’t know existed, and introduced some pretty amazing music (Daniel Lanois, David Schwartz, Etta James, Billie Holiday) which would become part of the soundtrack of my life. It made me want to be artistic like Chris, pure like Ed, sarcastic like Joel, and independent like Maggie. Most of all, it made me believe in the inherent goodness in people, and taught me to understand the special quality that each individual has, no matter how different they are. So much of Northern Exposure is still with me today, in my heart and mind.

Here are some pictures of the first ever appearances of our characters from the pilot episode! 25 years! Woot, woot!


(for an analysis of the pilot episode, read our post about it here)

1-1_Joel_plane 1-1_Ed_and_Joel_truck02 1-1_Maurice_01 1-1_Holling_01 1-1_Shelly01 1-1_Marilyn02 1-1_Maggie_Joel 1-1_RuthAnne 1-1_Rick1-1_Chris


11 thoughts on “The 25th Anniversary!

  1. 25 years… wao…
    I’m from Spain. There it arrived a year after.
    Definitively it changed my life. I remember Northern Exposure every single day since then.
    Best regards for all the Cicelians…
    Remember, Cicely is a State of mind ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you for the write-up! I remember watching this the summer after I graduated high school. It also imprinted on me (music, adventure, outdoors). I am also lucky that I only live about 2.5hrs from Cicely (i.e. Roslyn, WA). ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It is so frustrating not to be able to see it again – I wont buy the DVDs because the music was such an integral part of the show ๐Ÿ˜ฆ … Bring it back!

  4. From the “Chris In the Morning” facebook page I posted on:

    Tim Kendel
    April 21 at 10:27am
    I think there should be a Spin Off with Chris in the Morning As I watch the show recently, it can still make sense & he still has the voice. The character can be anywhere…
    11Like ยท Comment

    Tim Kendel
    April 1 at 10:49pm
    Sorry to be 20+ years late on this, but I think Se. 4 Ep.10 Crime & Punishment might be my favorite show so far in the series. If I taught college in any of the following, I’d play that episode in class: psychology, sociology, philosophy, and some type of law class, Etc. Chris was on trial for leaving WV without informing his P.O.

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