In a new interview with The Messenger, Seymour, who starred as the titular Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn in the 1800s set series, revealed that one unnamed network recently passed on the project, who allegedly told her, “they weren’t interested in Westerns.”
“We’ve actually got one [episode] written, and we’ve got the whole series planned out,” Seymour said. “We just took it to one of the networks, and they said that they weren’t interested in Westerns.”
“I think it’s really crazy,” she continued. “There seems to be a lot of very successful Westerns, so I didn’t get that at all.”
There is also the historical drama Outlander, which premiered in August 2014 on Starz and is currently in the middle of its seventh season. The show has drawn comparisons to Dr. Quinn, as it revolves around Claire Randall, a former Second World War military nurse in Scotland who, in 1945, is transported back in time to 1743.
Outlander has covered various time periods and locations, many in the 18th century, from Scotland to Paris to Jamaica to North Carolina. Interestingly, Toni Graphia, who works as a producer and writer on Outlander, served as a co-producer on 30 episodes of Dr. Quinn.
Dr. Quinn centered on Seymour’s Dr. Michaela Quinn, a physician who leaves Boston in 1867 in search of adventure in the Old West and ends up making a home for herself in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The show ran for six seasons on CBS from January 1, 1993, to May 16, 1998, producing 150 episodes, plus two later television movies.
Seymour revealed that during her attempts to revive the show, it was recently suggested that she set it in more modern times.
“It was pitched to me last night, believe it or not, to do Dr. Quinn as a contemporary piece,” Seymour shared. “I’m going, ‘Why?’ The whole point of Dr. Quinn is that life hasn’t really changed that much from the 1870s to now in some ways. In other ways, in a very big way. But a lot of the same issues are still issues today, and I think that was what was so magical about it.”
In 1996, Seymour earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her portrayal of Michaela Quinn. She also received multiple Primetime Emmy nominations for her role.
“When it came out, even the network didn’t believe in it, but the audience found it,” Seymour explained. “I think the audience loves things that deal with the human condition. So in Dr. Quinn, yes, there was medicine. Yes, it was period. But it was also very intelligent in that it really spoke to what was really going on historically at that time, rather than, you know, what the story books would tell us.”
Speaking on Dr. Quinn‘s appeal, Seymour said, “There were a lot different elements, also the idea of different kinds of family. If it’s authentic and it deals with the human condition, whatever the genre, then I think it’s very popular.”