It won’t be easy adding yet another medical show to the mix, but Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (Freaks and Geeks, 90210) are giving it a go with their comedy-drama hybrid, The Night Shift.
While on the show’s Albuquerque set, Sachs himself even admitted that it wasn’t easy finding someone to give them a shot. “We would go in there and pitch and it would be like, ‘That’s so great. So anyway, so they’re in high school …’” He continued, “And then we said, ‘Well, we want to do a medical drama that has this intensity, but also adds some humor into it,’ and it was just so foreign.” Fortunately the concept wasn’t foreign to everyone because come Tuesday, May 27th, The Night Shift begins its run on NBC. Hit the jump for our full report from visiting the set of this unique new series.
First off, watch the trailer for The Night Shift below:
The show takes place at San Antonio Memorial Hospital and focuses on the staff working the night shift with newly appointed boss, Dr. Jordan Alexander (The Good Wife’s Jill Flint), at the helm. Trouble is, Jordan still has to answer to her own superior, the hospital’s senior manager, Michael Ragosa (Six Feet Under’s Freddy Rodriguez), and with adrenaline junkies, irreverent doctors, diehard pranksters, and folks who’ll do absolutely anything to save a life on staff, it’s nearly impossible to adhere to Ragosa’s rules. The result is a unique combination of playful behavior and rousing drama that will hopefully make The Night Shift a standout.
Back in October, Collider got the chance to spend a full day on the show’s Albuquerque set, which could pass as a full floor of a working hospital – just built on a sound stage. The benefits of having all of your resources, nearly every location, the production offices and trailers in a single place are astounding. There was essentially instant access to just about every department, the crew could switch set-ups in a flash and, best of all, the fluid workflow allotted us ample time to observe filming and speak to the entire Night Shift line-up.
We’ve got full interviews with the cast coming your way soon, but to start, here are the basics on the Night Shift’s main players and key things to know about the show:
Meet the Cast
Position: Doctor, Head of the Night Shift
Jordan is as skilled, dedicated and determined as they come. As described by Flint, “There’s not a problem that she doesn’t feel she can solve, and she loves a challenge and she’s a go-getter.” In the first episode, that attitude motivates her to approach Ragosa and insist on being put in charge of the night shift. “She really wanted to take on the challenge of repairing the night shift because it was starting to fall apart at the seams.”
Eoin Macken is TC Callahan
For lack of better terms, TC is the night shift bad boy. He’s a brilliant Army doctor who just got home from Afghanistan and isn’t used to playing by Ragosa’s rules. TC knows how to save lives and he’s going to do just that no matter what, even if it means stepping on toes, ignoring hospital policies and putting his job on the line. Macken noted, “As a doctor, he’s very passionate and certain about saving everybody because for him, saving lives and saving people is more than just a job; it’s kind of what he has to do because it’s cathartic for himself because of his own history.”
Topher is TC’s buddy from Afghanistan. He doesn’t have as much of a disregard for the rules, but he does know how to bend them to best serve his patients. Leung explained, “We’re able to use a lot of the friendship that we forged over there and just our improvisational medical methods to this work.” However, there could come a time when Topher doubts those methods and his abilities because Leung teased, “He’s a very capable doctor, [but] there’s a personality shift with that that I didn’t really anticipate.”
Brendan Fehr is Drew
Position: Second-Year Resident
Drew served as an Army lieutenant overseas, but now he’s in the second year of his residency at San Antonio Memorial. However, he’s still indebted to the Army because, as Fehr explained, “He made a deal essentially with the army, which is kind of a real program where they offer to pay for all his medical training in order to become a surgeon and then after that, he owes them 10 years of service.”
JR Lemon is Kenny
Kenny is a night shift nurse – or rather “murse” as Lemon insists. “Kenny is the bartender of the ER.” Lemon continued, “He brings levity to the ER. A lot of bad things are happening and Kenny, being the practical jokester that he is, tries to brighten things up and lift them a bit.”
Robert Bailey Jr. is Paul
Position: First-Year Resident
Paul comes from a family of surgeons and is eager to follow in their footsteps. Bailey Jr. calls him “a really eager guy, a little bit squeamish perhaps, which is not necessarily the thing to be in an ER, but he’s so used to being in the books that it’s a new thing for him.”
Position: First-Year Resident
Goossen calls Krista “a real A-gamer.” Scoring top grades in her class earned her the opportunity to get first pick for her residency – the night shift at San Antonio Memorial. Goossen further explained, “She is a bit of a perfectionist, a bit of a prankster, likes to roll with the boys, is a bit of a tough girl, but on the flip side of that, is very emotionally involved, occasionally with patients, and definitely very invested in the idea of saving lives.”
Daniella Alonso is Landry de la Cruz
Landry is the night shift’s sole psychiatrist and while that means she’s responsible for attending to every single patients’ psychiatric needs, the staff tends to confide in her as well. Alonso also teased, “You kind of see in episode five and six where she comes from, her family, her background, and then you realize why she is the way she is. But at work, she’s very professional, very put together, and so you can guess that when she’s not at work, she’s not as professional and put together.”
Freddy Rodriguez is Michael Ragosa
Position: Senior Manager
After working his way up at different hospitals, Ragosa scores his gig as the head of San Antonio Memorial. Even though Ragosa wants to save lives as much as anyone, he’s also responsible for hospital policy and financing, and often, his staff doesn’t agree with what he considers to be the top priority. Rodriguez explained, “You want to help everyone that comes through the door, but then your job dictates that you make those tough decisions to keep the hospital afloat and that’s always the balance.”
We first meet Scott in episode four. Wolf ran through his character’s current situation and explained, “I still live in Dallas and I’m in a long-term relationship with Jordan and I come to visit a few episodes into the show.” Upon his arrival, Ragosa goes after him, hoping that Scott might want to join the team and take over the hospital’s trauma department. Wolf added, “I’m a daytime trauma surgeon in Dallas and, you know, I don’t think I really have any idea of what the night shift is about until I get thrust into it.”
Click over to Page 2 for the full rundown of what we learned while on set.