Boston Public
Created byDavid E. Kelley
ComposerDanny Lux
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes81 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Running time44 minutes
Production companiesDavid E. Kelley Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Original release
ReleaseOctober 23, 2000 (2000-10-23) –
January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30)

Boston Public is an American drama television series created by David E. Kelley and broadcast on Fox. Set in Boston, the series centers on Winslow High School, a fictional public high school in the Boston Public Schools district. It features a large ensemble cast and focuses on the work and private lives of the various teachers, students, and administrators at the school. It aired from October 2000 to January 2004. Its slogan was "Every day is a fight. For respect. For dignity. For sanity."[1]


Boston Public initially preceded Ally McBeal on Monday nights. However, Fox moved it to the Friday night death slot for its fourth season.[2] Viewership declined as a result and it was canceled after the 13th episode aired on January 30, 2004. Production halted after the 15th episode was completed. The final two episodes aired on March 1 and 2, 2005, later in syndication on TV One.[3] Neither episode wrapped up any character stories.

The title of each episode was a numbered chapter, similar to that in a high school textbook, and each character appeared in a given story arc, with the professional and personal lives often intersecting.

Boston Public was the winner of the 2002 Peabody Award ("Chapter Thirty-Seven") from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.[4]

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Boston Public characters

The first season cast of Boston Public
Actor Character Seasons Role
Chi McBride Steven Harper 1–4 Principal
Anthony Heald Scott Guber 1–4 Vice Principal
Jessalyn Gilsig Lauren Davis 1–2 Social Studies teacher; left Winslow to teach at a private school
Nicky Katt Harry Senate 1–3 (episodes 1–49) Teacher of "the Dungeon"; quit in episode 49
Loretta Devine Marla Hendricks 1–4 Social Studies teacher
Sharon Leal Marilyn Sudor 1–4 English teacher and music instructor
Fyvush Finkel Harvey Lipschultz 1–4 History teacher
Rashida Jones Louisa Fenn 1–2 Secretary
Thomas McCarthy Kevin Riley 1 (episodes 1–13; special guest appearance in episode 18) Football coach; fired in episode 13
Joey Slotnick Milton Buttle 1 (episodes 1–13; special guest appearance in episode 15) English teacher; fired in episode 13
Kathy Baker Meredith Peters 1–2; recurring in season 1 Teacher
Jeri Ryan Ronnie Cooke 2–4 Teacher; assistant vice principal (end of season 3); guidance counselor (season 4)
Michael Rapaport Danny Hanson 2–4 Teacher
China Jesusita Shavers Brooke Harper 2–3; recurring in season 2 Student
Jon Abrahams Zach Fischer 3 Physics teacher
Joey McIntyre Colin Flynn 3 English Teacher
Michelle Monaghan Kimberly Woods 3 (episodes 49–57; not featured in opening credits but receives "also starring" billing) Teacher; transferred to a school in another state to avoid a dangerous, obsessed student in episode 57
Cara DeLizia Marcy Kendall 2–3 (not featured in opening credits but receives "also starring" billing); guest during season 2 Principal's assistant and student
Natalia Baron Carmen Torres 4 Physics teacher


Main article: List of Boston Public episodes

Boston Public ran for four seasons, consisting of 81 episodes. Each season contained 22 episodes, except the fourth season which had 15 episodes due to cancellation.[5]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122October 23, 2000 (2000-10-23)May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)
222October 29, 2001 (2001-10-29)May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)
322October 21, 2002 (2002-10-21)May 12, 2003 (2003-05-12)
415September 19, 2003 (2003-09-19)January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30)

Crossover with The Practice

See also: The Practice § Crossovers

In The Practice episode, "The Day After" (season 5, episode 14), Kevin Riley asks Ellenor Frutt to represent him in a school board meeting when he's fired from Winslow High School, which takes place in the Boston Public episode "Chapter Thirteen" (season 1, episode 13). After Boston Public was canceled, Chi McBride reprised the role of Steven Harper on an episode of The Practice spin-off series Boston Legal in the episode "Let Sales Ring" (season 1, episode 16).

Awards and nominations

Boston Public received a total of 31 nominations from various award ceremonies, and won 8 of them.[6]

Awards won

Emmy Awards

NAACP Image Awards

Peabody Awards

Young Artist Awards


Emmy Awards

NAACP Image Awards

Television Critics Association Awards

Young Artist Awards

Teen Choice Awards