“The Night Shift” is one of NBC’s hottest new summer shows. The medical drama raked in an impressive 7.8 million viewers during its May 27 premiere, and viewers can’t get enough. Executive producer Gabe Sachs and stars Brendan Fehr, Jill Flint and Freddy Rodriguez were on hand at the 2014 ATX Television Festival to talk to reporters about what sets their show apart, and what fans can expect moving forward.
On Why ‘The Night Shift’ Is Different From The Rest
According to Gabe Sachs, the writers wanted to create a show that embodied all the craziness of the night shift. The EP believes that the flavors of San Antonio and the military set the series apart while providing action and giving it heart.
On The Craziness Of The Pilot
The premiere episode took viewers on a wild ride. The cast revealed that the pilot had to be “crazy” because they were trying to get picked up.
As Sachs explained, you have to ask: “How many stories can we shove into this thing where people go, ‘wow, that’s a different kind of show.’”
“We’re just trying to tell a lot of stories,” he continued. “We have these amazing actors, amazing characters.”
On The San Antonio Setting
One of the big reasons behind the interesting location for the show is that “The Night Shift” is supposed to be set near a military base. But the high volume of shows set in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago also lead them to place their story in San Antonio.
“We wanted to get a different feel, a rural kind of feel,” Sachs told reporters. “You get different types of characters in those environments that you don’t usually see.”
On Ragosa And Dr. Landry’s Connection
Is romance in the cards for Ragosa and Dr. Landry? The cast and EP wouldn’t confirm or deny, but Freddy Rodriguez did open up about his character.
According to the actor, Ragosa is “going through some pretty heavy stuff” and has “a lot of layers.” So, while a romantic relationship isn’t definite, the pair are opening up to each other -- something that Landy isn’t doing with her boyfriend (or hookup) TC.
On Ragosa Being Made Out To Be A Villain
“We were going to do the twisty mustache,” Rodriguez joked of Ragosa. “He’s a complex character. And I think that’s what Gabe and his partner Jeff [Judah] did so beautifully. They sort of laid out these really complex things that he’s going through early, and make the audience semi-understand why he behaves the way that he does.”
Brendan Fehr On Playing A Gay Military Member
The role of Drew is not something that Brendan Fehr took lightly. The actor explained that he felt like he had something to offer when he took the role.
“You don’t want to take a role that you don’t feel that you can kind of elevate and have something to offer,” Fehr explained. “It was a struggle. It was the pain of this character you saw on the page. He couldn’t be who he wanted to be, or who he is. I think that’s just something that everyone can kind of sympathize and empathize with.”
On Scott Wolf’s Guest Role
Gabe Sachs and “The Night Shift” really wanted Scott Wolf on board -- so much that they named the character Scott as a way to subtlety push the actor into the role.
Fehr joked that Sachs actually said, “I kind of want a Scott Wolf character … why don’t we just call him?” Since Sachs has known Scott Wolf for years, it ended up working out in their favor. Wolf will be playing Scott Collins, a “day-shift trauma surgeon who’s engaged to interim chief Dr. Jordan Alexander (Flint). “
On The Crazy Story Lines
Believe it or not, a majority of the stories on “The Night Shift” are true. The cast dished that they’re all from real cases and based off of real people. For instance, TC is a real doctor, although he wasn’t in the military. The real TC was a night shift doctor for 16 years in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Are they the most extreme [stories]?” Fehr explained. “Do they happen every day? No, but we’re also here to entertain you.”
On Jordan’s History
Jill Flint’s character, Jordan, is a major player on the show. An upcoming episode will show why she got into the medical profession, why she’s so motivated and why she’s such a “problem solver.”
"The Night Shift" airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.