Tag Archives: Adam Pettle

Season 2 of Global’s hit medical drama Nurses begins production March 2

From a media release:

Canada’s favourite rookie nurses are getting ready to scrub back in as Global announced today the start of production for Season 2 of breakout hit Nurses. From Canadian broadcaster and production partner Corus Entertainment, with eOne, and ICF Films, the coming of age medical drama begins filming 10 new episodes beginning March 2 in Toronto.

After receiving an early series renewal for a sophomore season – ahead of the show’s broadcast debut –the first season of Nurses has become an instant hit with Canadian audiences, joining Global’s robust roster of hit series. With the premiere garnering nearly 1.3 million viewers**, the series launch became the most-watched premiere episode of a scripted Canadian series in over two years for total viewers*, and was the #1 entertainment program of the night for A25-54 and W25-54**.

Picking up after their first four months as interns, Season 2 welcomes back Grace (Tiera Skovbye), Ashley (Natasha Calis), Keon (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Naz (Sandy Sidhu), and Wolf (Donald MacLean Jr.), and the old adage holds true: a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing – especially when other people’s lives are in their hands. As the rookie nurses hurl headlong into a new challenges, there are some notable add-ons to the St. Mary’s staff including nurse Kate Faulkner (Rachael Ancheril, Mary Kills People), who turned in her RN for an MBA;  the handsome, lone wolf Matteo Rey (casting to be confirmed), who gets off on the wrong foot with more than one member of the team; and the eternally sunny Candy Kemper (Katie Uhlmann, My Roommate’s an Escort). With new high-stakes medical cases and romantic entanglements, this season the five newbies will heroically endeavor to help their patients, while still struggling as they learn how to help themselves.

While Season 2 is about to begin a new nursing shift, Season 1 continues Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global. On next week’s episode “Achilles Heel”, Ashley receives an ultra-religious patient who is willing to put himself at peril to appease God, forcing Ashley to reconsider her own religious past. Naz supports a pregnant patient through the hardest decision of her life, while Wolf plunges deeper into Red’s drug ring.

Nurses is produced by ICF Films and eOne in association with 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), Jocelyn Hamilton (Mary Kills People, Ransom), Patrick Tarr (Saving Hope, Cardinal) and Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) with Julie Puckrin (Killjoys, X Company) as Co-executive Producer. Adam Pettle (Burden of TruthSaving Hope) is the Series Creator and Executive Producer.

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Nurses gets personal in Episode 2

Nurses may have only just debuted but with Global’s unprecedented order of a second season, the medical drama has a lot to live up to. That security of a sophomore year could’ve allowed for the writers to have more time to develop the five main characters—Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye), Ashley Collins (Natasha Callis), Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu) and Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean Jr.)—but viewers will instead get quite a bit of insight into what makes these newbies tick, and how they got to where they are now in the second episode.

The description for “Undisclosed Conditions” is pretty generic stuff: “When a guest of honour at a St. Mary’s fundraiser collapses, Grace grapples with the patient’s refusal to tell her family her secret, while Ashley confronts Grace about her own secret.” That’s what it’s all about with these five: secrets. And for Grace and Ashley, a bit of a rivalry as well, both professionally and personally.

“It’s a misunderstanding,” Skovbye clarified when I met with the five actors at Corus’ headquarters to chat about the show. “It’s two people, coming in, one thinks they know what’s going but when the truth is revealed, they end up forming a bond.”

It’s the final heartbreaking scene in Episode 2 that Callis calls the “turning point” for Grace and Ashley, and will move them “a step in the right direction.” But if you’re hoping they’re going to be besties (which they are in real-life, FYI), think again. “It levels the playing field,” added Skovbye. “But it’s not like they’re going to be buddy-buddy.”

As for Ashley’s actual buddy, we get a peek into Wolf’s past, which MacLean Jr. described as “a life-defining moment.”

“Wolf seems like a goof, kind of wears everything on his sleeve, and maybe gets judged for that, but then you realize that this guy has something figured out within himself from when he was a child,” revealed MacLean Jr., who found parallels between himself and his character. “Before I even auditioned for it, I was searching for that feeling of fulfillment and zeroing in on what’s important and spiritually being enlightened, and then this came across my table and I fell in love. And I think I matured with the character.”

Sidhu shares those same sentiments about her time on Nurses, specifically where her character came from, and what lies ahead. Nazneen may come across as spoiled (OK, technically, she kind of was), but she tries to prove she’s anything but. Some things, though, you can’t fake.

“What I really love about her journey is it’s really a reinvention story,” she explained. “Why is she in Canada, and why is she a nurse? How does someone like that, who comes from such a wealthy family in India, and has had a life of privilege, decide to transplant herself into a totally new environment where she doesn’t know anyone and chooses the most selfless occupation ever?” Sidhu promised her story would be unraveled as the season plays out.

We also got answers as to why Keon would give up a possibly lucrative football career for nursing (“a freak accident” is how Johnson-Hinds described it), but as far as the actor is concerned, he’s only looking towards his—and Keon’s—futures.

“I think once [creator and showrunner] Adam [Pettle] and I sit down and see where he wants to take Keon’s story, more layers will be pulled back,” said Johnson-Hinds. “It’ll be interesting to see where the writers take that. Because I’ll be ready to chime in and say, ‘Yup, this is what I wanna be fighting for for this character.'”

It’s safe to say they’re all going to be fighting for their characters.

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

Images courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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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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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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Global greenlights new primetime medical drama Nurses

From a media release:

Adding to its acclaimed roster of Canadian original series, Global proudly announces new primetime medical drama Nurses (working title), set to premiere on the network in 2019. From independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the 10×60 series is executive produced by Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue), of ICF Films and Vanessa Piazza (Dark Matter) of Piazza Entertainment, with Adam Pettle named as writer, showrunner, and executive producer, and Tassie Cameron serving as executive producer. The series follows four young nurses working on the frontlines of St. Jude’s hospital dedicating their lives to helping others, while figuring out how to help themselves.

Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees four 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 executive producer, Ilana Frank, appears today on the Corus Entertainment-sponsored panel, The Future of Scripted: Women in Power Tell All. Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto, the panel takes place during C21 Media’s Content Canada conference, a part of TIFF’s industry offering. With opening remarks from Corus’ Executive Vice President and COO, Barb Williams, and moderated by Divya Shahani, Entertainment Lawyer, Hall Webber LLP, the featured panelists are: Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue, Nurses), Sheila Hockin (Vikings), Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People), Julia Sereny (Ransom), and Alex Zarowny (Private Eyes). For more information visit www.contentcanada.net.

This newly greenlit series comes on the heels of Global’s recent renewals for Ransom, Mary Kills People, Private Eyes, and Big Brother Canada.

Nurses is produced by ICF Films, in association with eOne and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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