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Doogie Howser

Doogie Howser, M.D.

Format: Drama/Sitcom

Created by: Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Max Casella, Lisa Dean Ryan Belinda Montgomery, James Sikking, Markus Redmond, Lawrence Pressman, Mitchell Anderson, Robyn Lively, Kathryn Layng

Country of origin: United States

No. of seasons: 4

No. of episodes: 97


Running time: 24 minutes


Original channel: ABC

Original run: September 19, 1989 March 24, 1993 Doogie Howser, M.D. is a television comedy-drama starring Neil Patrick Harris as a brilliant teenage doctor who was also faced with the problems of being a normal teenager. The show ran from September 1989 to March 1993.


Created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, the weekly, half-hour "dramedy" starred Neil Patrick Harris as Douglas "Doogie" Howser, a child prodigy who became the youngest practicing physician in the country. The show was set in Los Angeles, California and ran for four years on ABC. The soundtrack of the series is by Mike Post and uses Post's trademark mid to late 1980s Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer.




Actor Role

Neil Patrick Harris Dr. Douglas "Doogie" Howser

Max Casella Vincent "Vinnie" Delpino

James Sikking Dr. David Howser

Belinda Montgomery Katherine Howser

Lisa Dean Ryan Wanda Plenn

Lucy Boryer Janine Stewart

Lawrence Pressman Dr. Benjamin Canfield

Mitchell Anderson Dr. Jack McGuire

Kathryn Layng Nurse Mary Margaret "Curly" Spaulding

Markus Redmond Raymond Alexander


There were four seasons of Doogie Howser M.D., totaling 97 episodes. Steven Bochco revealed that the show's cancellation came abruptly at the hands of ABC executives--before he and the show's staff had a chance to complete the story line. Bochco believed Doogie would have left the pressures of medicine to become a writer.



The main character is Dr. Douglas "Doogie" Howser (Harris), the son of David and Catherine Howser. At the age of five, he was diagnosed with early-stage pediatric leukemia after suspicious bruising was discovered by his father, who is also a medical doctor. After successful treatments, he began to express a genius level of intelligence. At age six, he got a perfect score on the SAT. He completed high school in nine weeks, graduated from Princeton University at age 10 and finished medical school four years later. At age 14, he was the youngest licensed doctor in the country. The series picks up on his 16th birthday; the cold open of the pilot episode shows him stopping his field test for his driver's license to help an injured person at the scene of a traffic accident.

In the series, Doogie works as a resident surgeon at a hospital in Los Angeles, and still lives at home with his parents. He also has a best friend, Vinnie Delpino (Max Casella), who is a more typical teenager and keeps him grounded in life outside his profession. He keeps a diary on his computer; each episode typically ends with him making an entry in it. A trademark of the show was Vinnie climbing in through his window, to visit his friend. Doogie initially has a girlfriend, Wanda Plenn, but they break up in the course of the series.

During the shows first season, Doogie and Vinnie wind up in a hostage situation in a convenience store and get to know their captor (Raymond Alexander) over the episode, leading Doogie to reflect on his privileged upbringing. He's arrested, but later returns after his release from prison to ask Doogie for help staying straight. Doogie helps him get a job as an orderly at his hospital, helping him start a new life away from crime.

DVD releases

Anchor Bay Entertainment has released all 4 seasons of the TV series on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date

Doogie Howser, M.D.: Season One 26 March 22, 2005

Doogie Howser, M.D.: Season Two 25 September 6, 2005

Doogie Howser, M.D.: Season Three 24 January 17, 2006

Doogie Howser, M.D.: Season Four 22 April 18, 2006

Cultural impact

Smart mice obtained by genetic engineering have been named "Doogie mice" in reference to this character. The sequence at the end of an episode of the T.V. series How I Met Your Mother entitled "The Bracket" is an allusion to the end of each Doogie Howser M.D. episode, where the character Barney Stinson is also played by Neil Patrick Harris. In Veronica Mars, when Wallace is in Chicago, Veronica complains about feeling like Doogie Howser due to their one-sided email exchanges.



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