Boston Public

Boston Public

infobox television
show_name = Boston Public

caption =
format = Drama, Teen drama
runtime = approx. 45 minutes
creator = David E. Kelley
starring = "see below"
country = USA
language = English
network = FOX
first_aired = October 23, 2000
last_aired = January 30, 2004
executive_producer = David E. Kelley
Jason Katims (2002-2004)
num_seasons = 4
num_episodes = 81 (List of episodes)
imdb_id = 0247081
tv_com_id = 34

"Boston Public" is an American television series created by David E. Kelley and broadcast on FOX from October 2000 to January 2004. It centered on Winslow High School, a fictional public high school located in Boston, Massachusetts. The show was named for the real public school district in which it takes place. It featured a large ensemble cast and focused on the work and private lives of the various teachers, students, and administrators at the school and their various personalities. Its slogan, as it was depicted on the show's website at the time, was "Every day is a fight. For respect. For dignity. For sanity." [ [ Boston Public article] , "Great Television Shows Blog", February 22, 2007]


At the beginning, "Boston Public" preceded "Ally McBeal" on Monday nights and received initial popularity and critical acclaim for its drama and ethnically diverse cast. However, the series had a hard time finding a direction or an audience. It was generally felt that the important 18-to-24 year-old demographic would not be interested in a drama about high school teachers, so attempts were made to focus more on the lives of high school students. However, this only caused critics to accuse it of copycatting. These problems, along with bizarre storylines and casting changes, caused its ratings to decline. The final nail in the coffin was when FOX moved it to the Friday night death slot for the 2003-2004 season. The number of viewers plummeted accordingly, and it was cancelled after a truncated fourth season.

The last episode to air on its normal time slot was on January 30, 2004. The final two episodes aired on March 1, 2005 later in syndication on TV One. Neither episode wrapped up any of the character stories as the series was cancelled in the middle of its fourth season.

ocial soapbox

The series often served as a soapbox about various contemporary issues. In the tradition of series such as "Picket Fences", "Boston Public" often intertwined a social issue in context of the lives of the characters, and approaching it through discourse between the characters and developments in the storyline that were meant to be reflective of particular sides of the issue.

The title of each episode was a numbered chapter, similar to that in a high school textbook, and each character had a certain story arc, with the professional and personal lives often intersecting with the issue at hand. The particular issues tackled by the show included many modern controversies and problems facing American public high schools today, such as affirmative action, teenage pregnancy, school violence, bullying, obesity, racism, gay-bashing, school prayer, terrorism, political correctness, poverty, rape, drug abuse, state funding for public education, and general teenager angst/alienation.

The show typically highlighted the tendency of public schools to serve as the flashpoints for the many of the politically volatile controversies in larger scope of American society. Social commentary also sometimes took the form of using the high school setting to serve as a microcosm of America, enabling the show to act as a forum for public discussion, while other times making more subtle criticisms and statements of contemporary American culture.

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.


Conservative interest groups were unhappy with Harry Senate's indictment against the NRA, episodes that were critical of conservative attitudes towards homosexuality, and explicit talk about sexual matters. They were also unimpressed with the sexual innuendoes and dialogue that often made its way into the series. According to the American Family Association, a Christian fundamentalist lobbying group, major television sponsors consequently stopped running ads during the series because of such criticism. These claims have not been verified by independent groups. [ [ VW Boston Public Update] , "VW Update", 2002]

Regular cast



External links


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