Everything about Nurses, eh?

Global’s Nurses brings viewers into the trenches with frontline medical workers

I first spoke to Adam Pettle during what turned out to be the last season of the medical drama Saving Hope. He and I—along with co-producers Noelle Carbone and Patrick Tarr—discussed, among other things, Saving Hope‘s longevity and its possible end.

Now Pettle is back with a new group of folks in scrubs, saving lives in a hospital. Debuting Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global, Nurses is a departure from Saving Hope, focusing almost solely on the nurses at the fictional St. Mary’s Hospital. Sure, there are doctors and surgeons flitting about, but the focus is on nurses Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye), Ashley Collins (Natasha Callis), Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu) and Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean Jr.).

Pettle doesn’t pull any punches on the five in Monday’s debut. Moments after reporting for duty on their first day, they are thrown into the melée following a vehicle attack on pedestrians.

Days before Corus announced Nurses was renewed for a second season, we spoke to Pettle about how Nurses came about, why he was eager to re-visit the medical drama genre and what viewers can expect in Season 1.

Were you champing at the bit to get back into the medical stories, and this time focus on nurses? 
Adam Pettle: My dad’s a doctor. My mother’s a nurse. I kind of grew up in and around hospitals and so it’s always been a genre I’ve been really into. When I was making Saving Hope, [executive producer] Ilana Frank had read a book called A Nurse’s Story, which is a memoir by Canadian nurse Tilda Shalof. Ilana was like, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to make A Nurse’s Story.’ We started talking about it and then I had been doing a Burden of Truth on CBC, and we continued to kind of talk through some ideas and, and then we landed on writing a show about five young, newly-graduated nurses.

On Saving Hope and most medical shows, the nurses are usually relegated to background performers. We thought it would be really great, especially in this time we’re living in. We know there’s some pretty selfish leadership going on all over the world, and I was really drawn to this idea of a job about caring and how we care for people as opposed to big splashy medicine, and kind of front line heroes. Unsung heroes.

What immediately struck me watching Episode 1 was what I loved about ER. Noah Wyle’s character is the viewers’ in because he was this fresh face coming in and you were learning about the intricacies of the ER through his eyes. On Nurses, you’ve got the same scenario.
AP: That’s exactly it. It’s like we are with them. Their newness and rookie mistakes, which have life and death stakes. It’s one thing to learn a job, but when it’s that job, I find it quite noble and heroic. It seems like it’s a lot of grunt work and shitty work. And it’s not just caring for patients, it’s caring for family members. I’ve talked to one nurse who was like, ‘It’s more about psychology and spirituality than it is about biology.’ And I love that idea.

There’s a guy named Mike Denby, who has kind of been my main consultant who’s a young, super handsome real-life nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children. He’s kind of connected me with a few nurses there. I went to St. Michael’s Hospital and interviewed, I think it was five or six ER nurses at different stages of their careers, which is fascinating too.

Why did you decide to use a vehicle attack as the main event in the debut episode to introduce us to everybody?
AP: I thought it was raw. It’s such a horrific local event that really terrified me when it happened. It’s very loosely based on that event. I really wanted a first-day event that all the stories kind of sprung from. The show, for me, was like seeing the different characters as body parts. Everything stemmed off of an event, I wanted quieter stories like the ICU story and like the pregnancy story, but I wanted them all to spring up out of the same inciting incident.

Something [like that] affects everybody and is so random and senseless. But the impact it has, on all ages, on all races on the whole. And I also wanted to throw them into the deep end as far as work.

Nurses airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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Medical drama Nurses premieres January 6 on Global

From a media release:

Global announced today the first series headlining the winter 2020 schedule as new original medical drama Nurses scrubs in beginning Monday, January 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From Entertainment One (eOne) and ICF Films, the coming-of-age series follows five young nurses working on the frontlines of a busy downtown Toronto hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others, while struggling to help themselves. Airing Monday nights for 10 weeks, Global is treating viewers to an exclusive online preview of the character-driven drama, pre-releasing the premiere on New Year’s day on GlobalTV.com.

Starring an ensemble cast of young talent, Nurses follows Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye, Riverdale), a young nurse looking for a fresh start, until someone from her past turns up who could jeopardize her career; Ashley Collins (Natasha Calis, The Possession), a wild and unapologetic adrenaline junkie who lives for the fast pace of the hospital; Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Blindspot), a former college football star who’s trying to prove he’s more than he was on the field; Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu, Home Before Dark), a whip-smart daughter of a wealthy family in India who moved to Canada to reinvent herself and is now starting her first job ever; and Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean Jr., Workin’ Moms), soft hearted and playful, but with a secret that may find him in over his head.

Along with the young team of nurses, the medical series also features a supporting cast played by Cathy White (Vikings) as Sinead O’Rourke, the head nurse and den mother of the new graduates; Ryan-James Hatanaka (Chicago P.D.) as Dr. Evan Wallace, the charming and attractive head of the ER who gets all the nurses’ attention – especially Grace’s; and Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters) as Dr. Vanessa Banks, the magnetic OBGYN with a cutting wit who never lets Keon forget a mistake.

Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees five recent graduates beginning their careers in a high-stakes hospital with pressure cooker training. Forming an inextricable bond, the nurses struggle to find a work-life balance that matches and counters the intensity of their new job. Their interaction with patients, relatives, and staff quickly leads them to the discovery that nursing isn’t just about biology, chemistry, and anatomy, it’s also about psychology, compassion, and romantic complications.

Viewers can stream Nurses on GlobalTV.com and the Global TV app available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. To unlock Global’s entire lineup of new and returning series, viewers can sign in online or on the Global TV app with their TV service provider credentials to access full episodes and exclusive clips anytime. For more information, visit GlobalTV.com.

Global is a Corus Entertainment Network and is available through all major TV distributors, including: Shaw, Shaw Direct, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink, SaskTel and the new STACKTV, streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video Channels. eOne distributes the series internationally.

Nurses is produced by ICF Films, eOne in association with Piazza Entertainment and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. eOne handles international distribution on the series. Executive Producers are Ilana Frank (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Linda Pope (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter), Adam Pettle (Burden of Truth, Saving Hope) Jocelyn Hamilton (Mary Kills People, Ransom) and Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) with Julie Puckrin (Killjoys, X Company) as Co-executive Producer.

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Global announces ensemble cast in new medical drama Nurses

From a media release:

Global announced today casting details for new original drama Nurses (working title), a coming-of-age story centered around the lives of five rookie nurses. From Canadian broadcaster and production partner Corus Entertainment, with Entertainment One (eOne) and ICF Films, in association with Piazza Entertainment, the serialized, character-driven drama (10×60), from the team behind Rookie Blue, features a stellar ensemble cast of young talent including Tiera Skovbye (Riverdale), Natasha Calis (The Posession), Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Blindspot), Sandy Sidhu (Home Before Dark) and Donald MacLean Jr. (Workin’ Moms). With production underway in Toronto, the new drama will premiere in 2019 on Global.

Set in Toronto, the series follows five young nurses working on the frontlines of a busy downtown hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others, while struggling to help themselves. Grace Knight (played by Skovbye), is a young nurse looking for a fresh start, until someone from her past turns up who could jeopardize her career;  Ashley Collins (played by Calis), is a wild and unapologetic adrenaline junky who lives for the fast pace of the hospital; Keon Colby (played by Johnson-Hinds), is a former college football star who’s trying to prove he’s more than he was on the field; Nazneen Khan (played by Sidhu), is a whip-smart daughter of a wealthy family in India who moved to Canada to reinvent herself and is now starting her first job ever; and Wolf Burke (played by MacLean Jr.), is soft hearted and playful, but with a secret that may find him in over his head.

Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees five recent graduates beginning their careers in a high-stakes hospital with pressure cooker training. Forming an inextricable bond, the nurses struggle to find a work-life balance that matches and counters the intensity of their new job. Their interaction with patients, relatives, and staff quickly leads them to the discovery that nursing isn’t just about biology, chemistry, and anatomy, it’s also about psychology, compassion, and romantic complications.

Nurses 
is produced by ICF Films, eOne in association with Piazza Entertainment and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. eOne handles international distribution on the series. Executive Producers are Ilana Frank (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Linda Pope (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter), Adam Pettle (Burden of Truth, Saving Hope) Jocelyn Hamilton (Mary Kills People, Ransom) and Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People) with Julie Puckrin (Killjoys, X Company) as Co-executive Producer.

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