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One in this series of fantasy dramas about a Chicago man, Gary Hobson, who mysteriously receives the folliowing day's newspaper and must decide whether or not to intervene in upcoming events. In this episode, Chuck waits impatiently at Gary's apartment for the newspaper, beseeching Gary to help him out with his sports-related wagers. He points out that the paper has been coming for a week and Gary has yet to take personal advantage of it, but Gary merely says that it "doesn't work that way." The paper arrives, accompanied as always by the unknown cat, and as Gary leaves, he runs into his soon-to-be ex-wife, Marcia, who returns his book, "Lost Chicago," though he says that he has never seen it before and throws it away. He collides with a man on the street as he heads to breakfast, and once there, he tells Marissa that the headline refers to the city's heavy road traffic, and an inside story mentions a 6-year-old girl who was killed in a hit-and-run bicycle accident. Marissa encourages him to "give in to this" and help, and Chuck arrives to ask for Gary's help again. However, they notice that the headline has changed and now states that a plane crash killed 190 people, and Gary realizes he must choose in which tragedy to intervene.

The three of them set out for the airport, but are delayed by the heavy traffic. The same man Gary ran into, a surgeon, steals their cab, despite Chuck's vehement attempts to stop him. When a phone call to the airline fails, they go to the police station, only to learn that Detective Tagliatti has been demoted for believing Gary's story. They appeal to Detective Crumb, but he is still annoyed about Gary's previous "stunt" and declines to help. They decide to take the L to the airport, but it too is delayed, and while waiting, Gary spots the bike girl from the paper, Amanda, and chases after her, leaving a bewildered Chuck and Marissa on the train. He does not arrive in time, however, and she is hit by the car. Knowing from the paper that the ambulance will not make it in time to save her from her internal injuries, he carries her into the emergency room himself. Chuck and Marissa argue about the best way to stop the doomed flight, with Marissa suggesting they make a bomb threat and growing annoyed when Chuck only seems interested in using the paper for himself. A power failure stops the train, and they are forced to get off. At the hospital, he begs the doctors to check Amanda thoroughly and then, as he is not a relative, is forced to leave. He then sees that the newspaper story has changed and now says that Amanda died of hospital neglect, however, and returns to the ER. Once there, he runs into the rude surgeon from earlier that morning, and the man has Gary thrown out when he attempts to correct him about the girl's injuries.

Chuck and Marissa arrive and explain about the train, and Marissa suggests that Gary is "not supposed to" stop the events in the paper. Nevertheless, they help him sneak back into the hospital by pretending Chuck is grievously injured, and Gary steals doctor's scrubs and finds Amanda. He barges into the surgeon's OR and tells him about her, demanding that he check her again, and once he does, he finds a hidden brain injury and immediately prepares to operate. At the same time, the plane prepares for takeoff, and Gary is distraught that he could not save the people onboard. The surgeon talks to Gary and thanks him, suggesting that they are "in the same kind of business" of helping people, and Marissa arrives, saying that he tried and cannot possibly save everyone. Just then, Amanda's parents arrive, and Gary is stunned to realize that her father was meant to be the pilot of the doomed flight, meaning that he made the right choice after all and saved everyone. Later that night, his lottery ticket fails once again, as he refuses to cheat, and he returns home to find that the doorman has returned the "Lost Chicago" book to him. Inside, he finds a picture of the mysterious cat, who then joins him on the fire escape, and he begins to read the book more closely. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: October 5, 1996 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:00:00
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:52241
  • GENRE: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1996-2000


  • Lillah McCarthy … Executive Producer
  • Bob Brush … Executive Producer, Developed by, Writer
  • Michael Dinner … Executive Producer, Director
  • Richard Heus … Co-Executive Producer
  • Ian Abrams … Co-Executive Producer, Created by
  • Robert Rabinowitz … Producer
  • Steven Heth … Associate Producer
  • Julia Rask … Associate Producer
  • John Romano … Consulting Producer, Writer
  • Patrick Q. Page … Created by
  • Vik Rubenfeld … Created by
  • W.G. Snuffy Walden … Music by
  • Kyle Chandler … Cast, Gary Hobson
  • Shanesia Davis … Cast, Marissa Clark
  • Fisher Stevens … Cast, Chuck Fishman
  • John Rubenstein … Cast, Dr. Marcus
  • Rya Kihlstedt … Cast, Marcia Hobson
  • Ron Dean … Cast, Det. Marion Zeke Crumb
  • Morgan McCabe … Cast, Nurse
  • Mae Whitman … Cast, Amanda Bailey
  • James Deuter … Cast, Boswell
  • Alex C. Skuby … Cast, Gino
  • Edward Jemison … Cast, Bystander
  • Mary Seibel … Cast, Receptionist
  • Mindy Bell … Cast, Pregnant Woman
  • Mark Morettini … Cast, Desk Sergeant
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