One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Museum of Television & Radio's William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Directors Guild of America Theatre Complex, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television's creative community. This session honors the medical drama "Gideon's Crossing." Museum president Robert M. Batscha begins by talking about the Paley Festival and introduces William C. Paley, who comments on the festival's importance and significance. Batscha then introduces the cast and crew members of "Gideon's Crossing" who make up the evening's panel: creator Paul Attanasio, director Ken Fink, executive producer Katie Jacobs, and co-executive producer and director Randall Zisk, as well as cast members Eric Dane, Russell Hornsby, Ravi Kapoor, Hamish Linklater, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ruben Blades, and Andre Braugher. The panel then leaves the stage, and an episode of the series, titled "The Lottery," is screened in its entirety.

Batscha welcomes the evening's panel back to the stage. Batscha reopens the seminar by asking Attanasio about the origins of the program, and Attanasio discusses the inspiration he derived from the books "The Measure of Our Days" and "Second Opinions" by Harvard Medical School professor Jerome Groopman. Attanasio says that he felt that he wouldn't run into much resistance from the network when he pitched the idea for the program as the hospital drama is a proven genre in television. Still, he explains, he wanted to focus on a lead doctor character who was not the infallible saint depicted in many hospital programs. This comment leads Batscha to ask about the program's casting process, and Attanasio says that as soon as he figured out that he was looking for what he terms a "tough guy with sensitivity and humanity" to play the lead role, he immediately went to Braugher, with whom he had worked on the series "Homicide." The cast members then take turns explaining the ways in which they were cast and the factors that attract them to their roles. Many of the panelists mention the quality scripts as factor number one, but actor Ruben Blades says he took the part of the chief of hospital sdministration because it gave a Latin-American man, in his words, "the chance to play something other than a gardener, a pool cleaner, or an illegal alien." When Batscha mentions the big-name guest stars who have appeared on the program, actor Eric Dane recalls his excitement over working with Billy Dee Williams. The floor is opened up for questions from the audience, and fans ask about topics ranging from the differences between working in television, film, and theater to tips for breaking into the world of acting. (This tape includes the episode "The Lottery," which is part of the Museum's collection and may also be viewed separately. See T:62079 for summary.)


  • DATE: February 28, 2001 Wednesday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:01:07
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:63590
  • GENRE: Seminars


  • Robert M. Batscha … Moderator
  • Paul Attanasio … Panelist
  • Ruben Blades … Panelist
  • Andre Braugher … Panelist
  • Eric Dane … Panelist
  • Ken Fink … Panelist
  • Russell Hornsby … Panelist
  • Katie Jacobs … Panelist
  • Ravi Kapoor … Panelist
  • Hamish Linklater … Panelist
  • Kevin J. O'Connor … Panelist
  • Randall Zisk … Panelist
  • Jerome Groopman
  • William C. Paley
  • Billy Dee Williams