'Northern Exposure' Stars Have Trouble Getting Their 's' Together By Steve Libowitz For those who missed last week's episode of Northern Exposure, Joel Fleischman revealed that he had been rejected by Hopkins medical school. And now we know why. Throughout the show, which revolved around Dr. Fleischman's involvement in a Hopkins clinical trial, actors Rob Morrow and James L. Dunn repeatedly referred to John Hopkins. Don't look for the "s," because it's not there. And it never showed up. "It was right in the script," said Joann Rodgers, director of media relations and deputy director of Public Affairs for JHMI, who had reviewed the material for the producer in September. "It was the actors' inability to pronounce the name correctly," said an insider at Northern Exposure who can pronounce the name correctly but nonetheless refused to be identified. "It's unfortunate and everybody here cringed every time one of them said it." In the story, Dr. Fleischman viewed the clinical trial as his big opportunity to prove to Hopkins that they had made a mistake by not admitting him. But his meticulous preparation of the hundreds of bottles of medicated pills and placebos was ruined when character Ed Chigliak accidentally spilled them all over the floor. In his good-hearted effort to preserve this big project for his friend, Ed gathered the pills and shoved them back in the bottles before the doctor realized what had happened. At show's end, Ed finally came clean, and Dr. Fleischman immediately ends the flawed trial, even though it means the end of his chance at redemption. But he takes it all in stride. So did Rodgers and her staff. In a letter to producer Steven Turner, she poked a little fun at the character: The episode that featured us was fun and well appreciated. 'Dr. Joel' might have made it into Hopkins if he could have gotten our name right. If he promises to get the name right next time, Hopkins might give him another shot at a clinical trial. Her staff took a different approach. They sent "Dr. Fleischman" the Hopkins T-shirt that says Johnzzzzzzz and explains how we got the name. The cover note was signed by all 18 of them: Dear Dr. Fleischman, We still think Hopkins made a mistake when it failed to admit you to its medical school. That would have given us four years to work on your pronunciation! All is forgiven. Thank a lot. Oops. Thanks. See? It could happen to anyone! Stay tuned. That "s" might just show up yet.
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