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China Beach (TV Series)

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Original title
China Beach
Running time
45 min.
United States United States
John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr., Carol Flint, John Wells, Toni Graphia, Patricia Green, Alan Brennert, Paris Qualles, Susan Rhinehart, Lydia Woodward, Cathryn Michon, Josef Anderson, Georgia Jeffries, Neal Baer, Dottie Dartland, Martin M. Goldstein, Terry McDonell, Glen Merzer, Ann DonahueSee 15 More
Nathan Wang, Shirley Walker, Paul Chihara, John Rubinstein
Charles Minsky, John J. Connor, Francis Grumman, Richard Thorpe
Warner Bros. Television, John Sacret Young. Broadcast by: American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
TV Series. War | Vietnam war. Medical
TV Series (1988-1991). 4 Seasons. 64 episodes. Created by William Broyles, Jr. and John Sacret Young, the series looks at the Vietnam War from a unique perspective: that of the women, military and civilian, who were present during the conflict. John Wells took over most of the series beginning with the second season — many of the show's cast members would appear later on the Wells-produced series, ER.

Set in the Vietnam locale nicknamed 'China Beach', at the 510th Evacuation Hospital and R&R (the "Five-and-Dime" Rest & Recreation) facility, the cast of characters includes US Army doctors and nurses, officers, soldiers, Red Cross volunteers, and civilian personnel (American, French, and Vietnamese). Very often, however, the series features the experiences of the characters when returning to the U.S., either on leave or at the end of their tour of duty.

The show did not shy away from showing the gruesomeness of war, providing a very gritty view of the experience there.

The producers of the show sought out advice from former Army nurses stationed in Vietnam, notably Diane Carlson Evans.

Unusual story-telling methods were sometimes used: scenes presented in reverse chronology; insertion of animated cartoons to express a character's state of mind; alternating between interviews with former military nurses and scripted scenes; and a visit by the cast to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C..

China Beach was a critically lauded but poorly rated series. ABC stuck with the show for four seasons, but the final season was put on hiatus in fall 1990 and did not air its finale until July 22, 1991. As a result of the strange scheduling, Dana Delany was eligible for (and ultimately won) a Best Actress Emmy in the fall of 1992, a year after the series broadcast its final episode and over a year-and-a-half after many of the scenes were filmed. (From
1992: Emmy: Best Actress in Drama Series (Dana Delany). 6 Nominations
1991: Emmy: 6 Nominations, Including Best Drama Series and Directing
1990: Emmy: Best Supp. Actress (Helgenberger) and Sound Mixing. 7 Nominations
1989: Emmy: Best Actress in Drama Series (Dana Delany). 6 Nominations
1988: Emmy: Best Costume Design. 4 Nominations
1990: Golden Globes: 3 Nominations including Best Drama Series
1989: Golden Globes: Best Drama Series. 2 Nominations
1988: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director (Miniseries/TV Movie)
1991: Writers Guild of America (WGA): 2 Nominations for Best Screenplay in Episodic Drama
1990: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screenplay in Episodic Drama. 2 Nominations
1989: Writers Guild of America (WGA): 2 Nominations for Best Screenplay in Episodic Drama
1988: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Screenplay in Episodic Drama
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