October 03, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

Inspiration can come from the strangest sources. But who would have expected the folks at Chicago Hope to find their muse in a Cadillac ad? It turns out that Hope‘s newest doc, neurosurgeon Lisa Catera (In the Company of Men‘s Stacy Edwards), owes her name to one of the luxury carmaker’s commercials. In a currently running spot, a voice-over exhorts viewers ”to lease a Catera.” Then comes the punchline: ”Who’s Lisa Catera?” So Hope executive producer John Tinker decided to put a face to the kicker. ”When you have to come up with names,” says Tinker, ”you quickly run out of high school friends and college buddies.” When informed of the crossover, a spokesman for the automaker immediately began considering cross promotions. ”Cool!” says Cadillac’s David Nottoli. ”We’d like to see if Dr. Lisa Catera wants to drive a Catera.”

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