*Yet another medical drama makes its way onto the fall schedule Wednesday night, this one starring Marcia Gay Harden as a residency director prone to performing high-risk procedures in the emergency room.
Before you resort to calling this CBS’s version of NBC’s “ER,” the cast and crew of “Code Black” swear this is a more true-to-life depiction of the chaos that goes on in a big city emergency room.
The show’s title refers to that time in every big city ER when the number of patients waiting to be seen becomes too much for the staff to handle. The series itself is based on director Ryan Garry’s 2009 documentary of the same name, about life at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center’s overwhelmed emergency room.
“We wanted to make a world that was not like any other medical show,” executive producer Michael Seitzman told the Television Critics Association in August during “Code Black’s” panel. “It’s not glossy. It doesn’t feel Hollywood. The world feels very handmade, made by people to serve people. In that was kind of the key to how to tell the story, to light it naturally, to not worry if somebody falls into darkness, to create a code black and then put three cameras in the middle of it and shoot it. We hired 30 real trauma nurses who work both off screen and on screen.”
Co-star William Allen Young refers to his character as “the eye of the storm.” As the longest serving attending physician at Angels Memorial, Dr. Rollie Guthrie has a calming presence that remains in tact amid the volatile ups and downs of the department.
He’s the ER’s own Barack Obama.
Below, Young reveals the research and training each actor had to endure to make sure their portrayals were on point:
“Code Black” premieres Wednesday night (Sept. 30) at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Watch a 7-min “First Look” video below, followed by the documentary “Code Black” upon which the series is based: