With many medical dramas on television today (Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, Chicago Fire on NBC, Code Black on CBS), it is a breathe of fresh air when a show like The Night Shift comes along. The series deals with cases of the week, but also sheds light on military personnel and how they’ve adjusted post war…or currently in war.
Currently in its third season and back to summers after a midseason stint for season two, the third season finds many of the core characters on a different path than before. Below are the questions I asked to the panel, later today I’ll have questions from my co-interviewer.
I have a question for Gabe: This is your third season, and you’re produced by Sony, but NBC this year debuted Chicago Med. With that being on the air as well, has NBC come to you at all asking to change things around to make it more different?
Gabe Sachs, Executive Producer and Co-Creator: “Not once. Really, not once. They’ve been great. They get our show. They know it’s a different show and that we emphasize military and it’s a way different pace. They understand it, and they’ve been supportive of that. We’ve been able this year to tell the stories we want to tell – which is amazing. They’re supporting and they get it, and the changes have been very minor. That’s why we’re very excited about the new look of the show because we’re actually telling the stories that we want to tell.”
ATX is a TV festival for the fans, created by the fans. What does being a TV fan mean to you?
Robert Bailey, Jr. (Dr. Paul Cummings): “I would say that for me, as with most of the arts, when you listen to music or you watch a TV show, there’s a level of connection and relation and feeling like you’re not alone. When you connect to these characters, you feel like there’s somebody like me or somebody who is going through what I’ve gone through, so it brings people closer together even when you’re at great distances. It’s crazy to see our show in America and internationally – people responding a certain way to TC and Jordan breaking up, and Scott with the car accident, or Paul getting his hand burned and their engagement. The relationship that we all share is shown through being a TV fan. There’s a certain connection that I’ve found to be a part of it.”
*See more “What does being a TV fan mean to you?” in a special segment this weekend*
Who do you think has had the biggest character growth since the first season?
Robert: “I’m gonna say Paul. He started from the bottom. He was the very socially awkward intern on the show, and now he’s a surgeon this year. Scott is mentoring him and he’s constantly being told that he’s a gifted surgeon. But it’s kind of the situation where you’re growing up as a kid and you’re waiting to be an adult, and then all of a sudden you’re a certain age and you’re like, ‘am I an adult now?’ He’s this gifted surgeon, apparently, but he’s still coming to terms with all the responsibilities that he has. He’s still terribly socially awkward.”
Brendan Fehr (Dr. Drew Alister): “Yours has been the most obvious, but I think every character has. For Jordan to be able to grow and say ‘no’ to T.C. is huge. Scott with the kid and the accident and how to get over that. Kenny investing his life savings. I think everyone has grown in a way. That’s the great thing. If you look back, we all have our own backstories so we’ve all grown more than what’s seen on-screen, we can all look at that from the first episode to where we are now. We’ve all gone on this journey where nobody is even close to the same space that they were in. It’s great for us as actors and is a testament to the writers. It’s moving forward, and there’s progress and evolution. It’s not stagnant, and that’s what makes it really exciting and fun.”
Where do you want to see your characters go?
Robert: “I would say that I know you guys haven’t seen the rest of the season, but for the most part I think we’re always really happy with the arcs that our characters are on.”
Jill Flint (Dr. Jordan Alexander): “I’m very comfortable with the journey that they are putting us on.”
Robert: “To see where we are at the end of the season- you start and say, ‘oh, this is what we’re doing,’ then you get to where you’re going and there’s a whole ride. You just say ‘oh, wow!’”
Jill: “None of us are bored. ”
Robert: “We all have really cool stuff coming up this year and big life decisions that we have to make. It’s always fascinating to see where we’re at as people. It’s always intertwined with who we are.”
Scott Wolf (Dr. Scott Clemmens): “I would answer that where we would want to go would be way less interesting than where they’ll take us.”
Brendan: “I think the fun part there is that sometimes we get knocked back. I think that’s to give us another obstacle to overcome. Sometimes the fun part for the characters is getting knocked back or knocked down before you get to go forward- which are fun stories to tell, as well. It’s always moving forward, but not necessarily at an insane pace. It’s kind of two steps forward, one step back, and that can happen over half a season or a whole season, but we trust them. I have more fun just waiting to find out where they take me.”
Scott: “Part of the fun is that we’re learning the story bit by bit along with our audience. Every new script that shows up reveals where our characters step next.”
Additional reporting by Gina Zippilli from Talk Nerdy With Us.