Quincy's first name was never revealed during the series. However, in one episode, one of his business cards was briefly seen and read "Dr. R. Quincy."
Marc Scott Taylor was originally hired as a technical advisor but became a semi-regular cast member because he could operate electron microscopes and other complex instruments. It was more cost effective to give him a recurring bit-part than to train the actors to operate the equipment convincingly. His role was greatly expanded in an episode in which "Sam" had been poisoned and "Mark" helped Dr. Quincy save his life. He eventually provided a couple of scripts for the show and by season seven had become a co-producer.
Anita Gillette, who played Quincy's wife Dr. Emily Hanover in the final season, also played his first wife who died of a brain tumor.
The regulations of the day prevented the producers from showing Quincy's autopsies on screen. (These regulations have now been lifted and the corpses can be seen on screen in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), CSI: Miami (2002) and CSI: NY (2004).) The viewer had to rely on Quincy's description of what was going on.
Jack Klugman was part-owner of a horse named Jaklin Klugman, which finished third in the 1980 Kentucky Derby. The horse was named Jaklin by accident (it was a colt), and there is a picture of him hanging in Quincy's houseboat in some of the show's later shows.
The character of Quincy was based on the real-life Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Dr Thomas Noguchi, who became famous for his often controversial conclusions. He performed autopsies on many stars including Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and John Belushi. In true Quincy-style, he raised doubts about the official account of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination by showing that Sirhan Sirhan could not have fired the fatal shot. He also acted as a technical advisor on the show. The show's concept was adapted from the Canadian series Wojeck (1966).
It originally debuted during the final season of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. When the show did well in the ratings NBC decided to upgrade it to a weekly series, especially since it looked like The Sunday Mystery Movie would be canceled. Its place in the rotation was assumed by the new show Lanigan's Rabbi (1976), which was canceled with the others at the end of the 1976-77 season. Quincy and Columbo (1971) were the only elements of that series to be spun off on their own.
Hospital scenes were shot on the set of the Rampart Hospital from Emergency! (1972)
Show's title mentioned in a comedy routine about a drinking father, on Eddie Murphy's 1983 comedy album "Comedian" .
A total of 148 episodes were made. Jack Klugman appeared in 147. In the episode Quincy M.E.: Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy? (1977) (season 2, episode 7), Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) talks to Quincy twice on the phone, but Quincy's voice is not heard and he is not seen on screen. The reason Klugman did not take part in the episode is because he disliked the script written by Michael Sloan and Glen A. Larson for the episode; a body brought into the morgue turns out to still be alive. Klugman thought it laughable that a medical examiner of Quincy's fastidiousness would fail to notice it.
Quincy was broadcast as 90-minute telefilms as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie rotation in the fall of 1976, alongside Columbo (1971), McCloud and McMillan (formerly McMillan & Wife (1971)). The series proved popular enough that after four episodes of Quincy, M.E. had aired during the 1976-1977 season in the extended format, Quincy was spun off into its own weekly one-hour series without a typical 60-minute pilot. Instead, a two-hour episode kicked off a thirteen-episode shortened run of the series, which concluded the 1976-1977 season, while the Mystery Movie format was discontinued in the spring of 1977.
The "Next Stop Nowhere" episode where Quincy decried the murderous effect Punk Rock music has on teens, has been lambasted by critics for being hilariously out of touch, and also for advocating censorship. The episode has been compared to Refer Madness in its campiness. Critics complained that the Quincy writers were acting like The Sex Pistols were causing youths to leap off the Sears Tower; or listening to a Blondie or Police album would cause them to pummel eachother to death. The episode spews out false statistics about links between punk music and both suicide and murder; and is actually a dangerous pro-censorship propaganda piece.
This show is basically a remake of the British television show The Expert (1968) . It starred Marius Goring as the irascible forensic scientist Prof. John Hardy and is at least as good as Quincy M.E. Unfortunately, due to the BBC's tragic habit of tossing archived shows, only a patchwork of them are available.
The series is inspired by the book Where Death Delights by Marshall Houts, a former FBI agent.
Jack Klugman is the only regular cast member who appears in the final episode of the series (Quincy M.E.: The Cutting Edge (1983)), which was a backdoor pilot for a proposed series about a revolutionary new clinic. NBC did not pick up the new series.
Garry Wahlberg earlier played the recurring role of Speed on Jack Klugman's previous series The Odd Couple.
It's ironic that Quincy dances with Dr. Hanover in the "Next Stop Nowhere" episode to Glen Miller Swing, and says "This is the kind of music to dance to, music that makes you love. Why would anyone want to dance to music you hate?". Quincy means to put down angry punk rock music, and elevate Glen Miller big band music over that newer style of pop. But doesn't Glen A Larson and company (who produced this 1982 episode) realize that Glen Miller is jazz, and back in the day there was also a fundamentalist Christian movement to ban jazz? And that was also seen as the Devil's music, and was thought to drive young people into sin and degredation? So it really all depends on your perspective!
Jack Klugman was nominated for an Emmy Award several times for "Quincy", just like he was nominated for "Odd Couple". Although he won for "Odd Couple" and not for "Quincy."
The show resembled the earlier Canadian television series Wojeck (1966), broadcast by CBC Television John Vernon, who played the Wojeck title role, later guest starred in the third-season episode Quincy M.E.: Requiem for the Living (1978).
Quincy's character (Jack Klugman) is loosely modeled on Los Angeles' "Coroner to the Stars" Thomas Noguchi.
The Quincy series often used the same actors for different roles in various episodes, a common occurrence on many Glen A. Larson TV programs.
Writers Anthony Lawrence and Lou Shaw received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1978 for the second-season episode Quincy M.E.: ...The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone... (1977).
Actor Eddie Garrett portrayed a photographer for the Los Angeles coroner's office in approximately 113 episodes of the series.
Anita Gillette portrayed both of Quincy's wives. Until marrying Dr. Emily Hanover near the end of the series, Quincy had been a widower, having lost his first wife, Helen, before the events of the series. Anita Gillette was cast as the late Helen Quincy for the flashback scenes in the episode Quincy M.E.: Promises to Keep (1979) before being hired as Dr. Hanover.
The series was first broadcast nationally in the United Kingdom in 1977 on the ITV network (albeit at differing times due to the then regional structure of the network). Repeats of the full series were initially shown on BBC1 on afternoons in the early 1990s and it had frequently been running daily since the late 1990s on ITV and more recently ITV3 until early 2010, in various time slots (usually 8am, 2pm, and early morning). The show is currently showing on Universal Channel, with episodes on Sunday morning, and one episode at 8am (repeating at 4pm and 5am the following morning) through the week. After a brief appearance on YourTV in the daytime, Quincy ME is now currently being showing as run daily on ITV4 from May 2016 (afternoon and repeated the following morning).
Halloween 2 was set in a hospital; and was directed by John Carpenter crony/assistant Rick Rosenthall. After Carpenter saw the dailies for the finished film he said "This movie is about about as scary as an episode of Quincy"; and he re-edited the entire movie; adding much more explicit gore.
This series is famous for it's preachiness. Every week Quincy lectures the audience about another issue affecting society.
The bikini-clad woman with her back to the camera in the opening credits who shares a drink with Quincy was played by Lynnette Mettey, who also played his girlfriend Lee Potter during the first season.