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Must See TV

Must See TVSeveral of this season's most popular primetime dramas share at least one thing in common -- they all feature lead characters with Tufts degrees. Hollywood.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [03.29.02] Outside of Tufts' campuses, the most popular places to find Tufts T-shirts, hats and mugs may be the prop closets of some of TV's hottest primetime shows. This season, hit dramas like "Crossing Jordan,""24" and "Ed" all feature characters equipped with degrees from the University.

"Expect to see Tufts stuff all over the new Hub-based TV show 'Crossing Jordan,'" reported the Boston Herald. "The star, Jill Hennessy, plays a problem pathologist who is a Tufts Medical School grad -- just like the TV show's supervising producer Todd Ellis Kessler."

In a recent episode that aired last week, Hennessy's character sported a Tufts T-shirt for the opening sequences of the popular NBC drama -- which pulls in almost 14 million viewers each week.

Other Tufts memorabilia -- including mugs and hats -- have also made cameo appearances on the show, which NBC cites as this season's No. 1 new drama.

Hennessy's character isn't the only leading lady with ties to the University.

Nina Myers -- Sarah Lively's character on Fox's hit drama "24" -- sports a Master of Arts, Law and Diplomacy from the Tufts' Fletcher School. The degree is fitting, since the character is one of the top agents in an elite U.S. counter terrorism force charged with protecting a high profile presidential candidate.

Back at NBC, another hit drama has worked Tufts into its script. On "Ed" -- co-created and produced by Tufts graduate Rob Burnett -- the character of Kenny, played by veteran actor Mike Starr discusses his Tufts diploma during one of the drama's episodes last fall.

From Elaine on "Seinfeld," to Dr. Jennifer Melfi on "The Sopranos," characters with fictional Tufts degrees have been regular additions to the network's primetime lineups.

In ABC's "Two Guys and A Girl" -- which was created by 1989 Tufts graduate Kenny Schwartz -- two of the three main characters (the "two guys") are Tufts students, and one of the show's main sets is a restaurant on the edge of the University.

Everything from Tufts banners and pennants to scenes of the University's mascot "Jumbo" during a Tufts Homecoming game, have been featured.

Banners from the University were also featured in an episode of Dawson's Creek -- the WB's hit drama. During an episode of "The Geena Davis Show," the sitcom's writers revealed that Judy Owens -- Kim Coles' character on the series -- holds a Tufts degree with honors.

And the Tufts campus is featured in the opening credits of "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" as the location for John Adams College -- the fictional university attended by the series' lead character.

"Tinseltown must be flush with Tufts trinkets because 'The Sopranos' shrink Dr. Melfi is a Tufts grad (remember Tony checking out her diploma?), as is 'Providence' doc Sydney Hansen," reported the Herald. "So, take that Harvard!"


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