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Nurse Jackie is an American dark comedy series that premiered on June 8, 2009 on Showtime, Movie Central and The Movie Network.

The series stars Edie Falco as title character Jackie Peyton, a "flawed" emergency room nurse at All Saints' Hospital in New York Citymarker. For Jackie, "Every day is a high wire act of juggling patients, doctors, fellow nurses and her own indiscretions." Showtime says the half-hour series "is at turns wicked, heartbreaking and funny."

On November 6, 2009, Showtime announced that Nurse Jackie will return on March 22, 2010.


Nurse Jackie was created by Liz Brixius, Linda Wallem, and Evan Dunsky, with Brixius and Wallem serving as showrunners for the series and sharing executive producer duties with Caryn Mandabach and John Melfi. Showtime initially ordered 12 episodes. Before the series premiered, Brixius told the New York Daily News that "Guys' stories tend to be about conquests — getting the job, winning the Olympics, whatever. Women stories aren't as immediately climactic so they need to play out over the course of three months ... And every medical show out there has been about doctors. Doctors are absolutely unable to do what they have to do without nurses. We want to tell those stories."

The June 8, 2009 series premiere was Showtime's most-successful premiere ever, with 1 million viewers for the premiere and over 350,000 for the repeat broadcast. Showtime immediately picked up the series for a second season.


Falco's Jackie is described by Showtime as a "strong-willed, iconoclastic New York City nurse juggling the frenzied grind of an urban hospital and an equally challenging personal life," noting that the character has "an occasional weakness for Vicodin and Adderall to get her through the days." Other characters include Jackie's best friend at work, British Dr. O'Hara (Eve Best); Zoey (Merritt Wever), a jubilant first-year nursing student who "is the perfect foil for Jackie's sharp angles;" Dr. Cooper (Peter Facinelli), "a likable 'golden boy' whose calm façade hides a nervous disposition;" Eddie (Paul Schulze), a pharmacist with whom Jackie is having an affair; and her gay coworker/friend, male nurse Mo-Mo (Haaz Sleiman). Recurring characters include the officious hospital administrator, Mrs. Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) and bar-owner husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa), as well as their daughters Grace (Ruby Jerins) and Fiona (Daisy Tahan).

Actor Role
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, R.N.
Eve Best Dr. Elenor O'Hara
Merritt Wever Zoey Barkow
Haaz Sleiman Mohammed "Mo-Mo" de la Cruz
Paul Schulze Eddie Walzer
Peter Facinelli Dr. Fitch "Coop" Cooper
Dominic Fumusa Kevin Peyton (recurring)
Anna Deavere Smith Mrs. Gloria Akalitus (recurring)
Ruby Jerins Grace Peyton (recurring)
Daisy Tahan Fiona Peyton (recurring)
Stephen Wallem Thor (recurring)


Critical response

The premiere of Nurse Jackie was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Entertainment Weekly gave the first episode a B+, stating "Edie Falco brings a genial forcefulness to Nurse Jackie." New York magazine called the Showtime series "smart, acrid, alternately sharp and sentimental" and "the best series yet in the cable channel’s ongoing meditation on the nature of addiction ... and the setting for a truly breakthrough female character". The Examiner agreed with a B+ rating, with the thought that, while not a saint, "[...] Jackie does make attempts. Despite her drug addiction due to chronic back pain and an adulterous affair with her habit enabling pharmacist, Jackie cares about her patients." Reception was not entirely positive, with Brent Bozell, a member of the conservative Christian Parent's Television Council, calling Jackie "a filthy degenerate" and stating that any good shown in the character "only salves the conscience so the viewer can enjoy the evil parts," adding that "anything approaching the right moral course would completely ruin all the 'black comedy' fun Showtime is having." Variety noted, "The series increasingly feels like all style and limited substance -- a star showcase that's less 'triumphant return' than 'Nice to have you back, but...'"


Soon after Nurse Jackie premiered, the New York State Nurses Association decried the unethical behavior of the title character, and the detrimental impression regarding nurses that such a portrayal could have on the public, stating, "In the first episode, Nurse Jackie is introduced as a substance abuser who trades sex with a pharmacist for prescription drugs ... She has no qualms about repeatedly violating the nursing Code of Ethics. Although Showtime describes her as a 'competent nurse,' one could argue that no competent nurse would behave this way."


Season 1: 2009

Episode Title Director


Original airdate

International broadcasts

Country TV Network(s) Date of Premiere Weekly Schedule
Network Ten September 13, 2009 Mondays, 9:30 p.m.
Fox Life
Canal +
RTÉ Two September 15, 2009 Tuesdays, 9:55 p.m.


October 21, 2009 Wednesdays, 10:00 p.m.
Fox Life
TV3 Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.

nFilm HD

nFilm HD 2
Sveriges Television

SVT Play
October 3, 2009 Saturdays, 10:45 p.m.
BBC TWO early 2010


  1. [1] - TV Tonight, August 29th
  3. Nurse Jackie at (in Hebrew)
  4. [2] -, October 4, 2009

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