Boston Public

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Boston Public
Boston Public-logo.jpg
Genre Drama
Created by David E. Kelley
Starring Jessalyn Gilsig
Chi McBride
Anthony Heald
Nicky Katt
Thomas McCarthy
Loretta Devine
Joey Slotnick
Rashida Jones
Sharon Leal
Jeri Ryan
Jon Abrahams
China Jesushita Shavers
Joey McIntyre
Natalia Baron
Michael Rapaport
Kathy Baker
Fyvush Finkel
Composer(s) Danny Lux
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 81 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David E. Kelley (2000–2002)
Jonathan Pontell (2000–2004)
Jason Katims (2001–2004)
Running time 44 minutes
Production company(s) David E. Kelley Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox
Original release October 23, 2000 (2000-10-23) – January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30)
Related shows The Practice
Boston Legal

Boston Public is an American drama television series created by David E. Kelley and broadcast on Fox. Set in Boston, the series centers on Winslow High School, a fictional public high school in the Boston Public Schools district. It features a large ensemble cast and focuses on the work and private lives of the various teachers, students, and administrators at the school. It aired from October 2000 to January 2004. Its slogan was "Every day is a fight. For respect. For dignity. For sanity."[1]


Boston Public initially preceded Ally McBeal on Monday nights, became revered and received critical acclaim for its drama and ethnically diverse cast. However, Fox moved it to the Friday night death slot for its fourth season.[2] Viewership declined as a result and it was canceled after the 13th episode aired on January 30, 2004. Production halted after the 15th episode was completed. The final two episodes aired on March 1 and 2, 2005 later in syndication on TV One.[3] Neither episode wrapped up any character stories.

The title of each episode was a numbered chapter, similar to that in a high school textbook, and each character appeared in a given story arc, with the professional and personal lives often intersecting.

Boston Public was the winner of the 2002 Peabody Award ("Chapter Thirty-Seven") from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.[4]

Cast and characters

The first season cast of Boston Public
Actor Character Seasons Role
Chi McBride Steven Harper 1–4 Principal
Anthony Heald Scott Guber 1–4 Vice Principal
Jessalyn Gilsig Lauren Davis 1–2 Social Studies teacher; left Winslow to teach at a private school
Nicky Katt Harry Senate 1–3 (episodes 1–49) Teacher of "the Dungeon"; quit in episode 49
Loretta Devine Marla Hendricks 1–4 Social Studies teacher
Sharon Leal Marilyn Sudor 1–4 English teacher and music instructor
Fyvush Finkel Harvey Lipschultz 1–4 History teacher
Rashida Jones Louisa Fenn 1–2 Secretary
Thomas McCarthy Kevin Riley 1 (episodes 1–13; special guest appearance in episode 18) Football coach; fired in episode 13
Joey Slotnick Milton Buttle 1 (episodes 1–13; special guest appearance in episode 15) English teacher; fired in episode 13
Kathy Baker Meredith Peters 1–2; recurring in season 1 Teacher
Jeri Ryan Ronnie Cooke 2–4 Teacher; assistant vice principal (end of season 3); guidance counselor (season 4)
Michael Rapaport Danny Hanson 2–4 Teacher
China Jesushita Shavers Brooke Harper 2–3; recurring in season 2 Student
Jon Abrahams Zach Fischer 3 Physics teacher
Joey McIntyre Colin Flynn 3 English Teacher
Michelle Monaghan Kimberly Woods 3 (episodes 49–57; not featured in opening credits but receives "also starring" billing) Teacher; transferred to a school in another state to avoid a dangerous, obsessed student in episode 57
Cara DeLizia Marcy Kendall 3 (not featured in opening credits but receives "also starring" billing) Principal's assistant and student
Natalia Baron Carmen Torres 4 Physics teacher


Boston Public ran for four seasons, consisting of 81 episodes. Each season contained 22 episodes, except the fourth season which had 15 episodes due to cancellation.[5]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 October 23, 2000 (2000-10-23) May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)
2 22 October 29, 2001 (2001-10-29) May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)
3 22 October 21, 2002 (2002-10-21) May 12, 2003 (2003-05-12)
4 15 September 19, 2003 (2003-09-19) January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30)

Crossover with The Practice

In The Practice episode, "The Day After" (season 5, episode 14), Kevin Riley asks Ellenor Frutt to represent him in a school board meeting when he's fired from Boston Public, which takes place in the Boston Public episode "Chapter Thirteen" (season 1, episode 13). After Boston Public was canceled, Chi McBride reprised the role of Steven Harper on an episode of The Practice spin-off series Boston Legal in the episode "Let Sales Ring" (season 1, episode 16).

Awards and nominations

Boston Public received a total of 31 nominations from various award ceremonies, and won 8 of them.[6]

Awards won

Emmy Awards

  • Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series (2001)

Peabody Awards

  • Peabody Award for Episode "Chapter Thirty-Seven"[7]

NAACP Image Awards

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Loretta Devine (2001, 2003–2004)

Young Artist Awards

  • Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor – Thomas Dekker (2004)

Awards nominated

Emmy Awards

  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Kathy Baker (2001)

NAACP Image Awards

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Rashida Jones (2002)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Loretta Devine (2002)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Vanessa Bell Calloway (2002)
  • Outstanding Drama Series (2002–2004)

Television Critics Association Awards

  • Individual Achievement in Drama – Chi McBride (2001)

Young Artist Awards

  • Best Performance in a TV Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actress – Ashley Tisdale (2001)
  • Best Family TV Drama Series (2002)
  • Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor – Miko Hughes (2004)

Teen Choice Awards


  1. ^ Boston Public article, Great Television Shows Blog, February 22, 2007
  2. ^ 'Bernie,' 'Boston' Make Friday Switch on Fox
  3. ^ Boston Public: Chapter Eighty episode on
  4. ^ The Futon Critic
  5. ^ Shows A-Z Boston Public on Fox |
  6. ^ IMDd: Boston Public
  7. ^ 62nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2003.

External links

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