Doogie Howser, M.D.
Doogie Howser, M.D. was a half hour comedy/drama that ran from 1989 to 1993 on ABC. The showed starred Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie, and Max Casella as Vinnie (Doogie’s best friend). The show was a decent success for ABC, running for four seasons for a total of 97 episodes. The show nearly didn’t make the cut, as ABC was opposed to casting Harris in the lead role, but based on the positive responses from initial screenings, and the large penalty that was to be assessed if ABC didn’t follow through, the show was ultimately put into syndication.
Fans of this show will remember that Doogie Howser (Harris) was a child genius, ultimately becoming a Physician and trying to complete his residency at 16 years of age. Howser purportedly completed high school by the age of 9 and graduated from Princeton a year later. By 14, he was a full-fledged resident surgeon, and the show started with Howser turning 16 and trying to obtain his driver’s license. Couple this with the natural urges and interests of a normal 16 year old, the fact that he stilled lived at home with his parents, and the shenanigans of his best friend, Vinnie (Casella), you had yourself a show. It wasn’t all fluff, of course, as the show often dealt with serious topics like AIDs, gang violence, racism, virginity, etc. Each show ended with Howser making an entry into his digital diary.