Friday, May 22, 2009

Organ transplant series airs on CBS beginning this fall

This new CBS series should be of interest to our transplant community. I certainly plan to watch for it. The CBS fall Sunday evening schedule is shown at the end of this post.


"Three Rivers," a medical drama set in a Pittsburgh transplant hospital, will premiere this fall on CBS. The cast includes Alex O'Loughlin and Katherine Moennig.
Photo: John P. Filo/CBS

By Bob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuned In: CBS schedule -- 'Three Rivers' runs through it

Five years after CBS canceled its last Pittsburgh-set series, "The Guardian," the network returns to the 'Burgh for the aptly titled "Three Rivers," a medical drama that will air at 9 p.m. Sundays beginning this fall.

"Three Rivers" is set in the world of transplant surgery among organ donors, recipients and surgeons at a Pittsburgh hospital.

The series stars Alex O'Loughlin ("Moonlight") as Dr. Andy Yablonski, described as "the highly skilled workaholic lead organ transplant surgeon, whose good-natured personality and sarcastic wit makes him popular with his patients and colleagues."

Other characters include:
  • Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig, "The L Word"), a rebel surgeon with a temper who lives in the shadow of her surgeon father's reputation.

  • Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), a womanizing surgical resident.

  • Ryan Abbott (Christopher J. Hanke), an inexperienced transplant coordinator who schedules the organ transplants.

  • Dr. Sophia Jordan (Julia Ormond, "Sabrina"), the head of surgery.

  • Pam Acosta (Justina Machado, "Six Feet Under"), Andy's no-nonsense operating assistant and best friend.

The "Three Rivers" pilot filmed in Pittsburgh in late March and early April using the closed Brownsville Tri-County Hospital as its primary location. Other locations included, but were not limited to, Allegheny County Airport, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center, where members of the Point Park men's basketball team filmed a scene involving a player who faces a medical emergency during a practice session.

A CBS publicist did not know where subsequent episodes of the series will film, but the Pittsburgh Film Office has gotten no confirmation that "Three Rivers" is returning to Pittsburgh to film additional episodes. A likely scenario is that the series will shoot primarily on the West Coast, like "The Guardian," returning to Pittsburgh on occasion for pick-up shots. Although Pennsylvania tax incentives make filming locally attractive to filmmakers, actors often have contracts that limit series filming locations to film industry centers (e.g. Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York).

"Three Rivers" is executive produced by director Curtis Hanson, who shot the film "Wonder Boys" in Pittsburgh, and the showrunner is Carol Barbee, a veteran of CBS dramas "Jericho" and "Swingtown." Barbee wrote the "Three Rivers" pilot.

"Three Rivers" will face stiff competition for attention opposite ABC's female-skewing "Desperate Housewives," NBC's male-skewing "Sunday Night Football" and Fox's youth-skewing animation block.

In its most aggressive programming move, CBS will shift freshman hit "The Mentalist" to 10 p.m. Thursday, where it is likely to win the time slot over ABC's "Private Practice" and NBC's "The Jay Leno Show."

CBS also picked up "Medium," which NBC canceled this week, and paired it with similarly themed "Ghost Whisperer" on Fridays.

CBS canceled "The Unit," "Worst Week," "Eleventh Hour" and "Without a Trace." Ratings for "Trace" have not been terrible, but the show is expensive to produce and it's owned by Warner Bros., not CBS.

"Rules of Engagement" will return at midseason. Canadian co-production "Flashpoint" will also return.

Here's CBS's fall schedule, with new series in bold:

  • 7 p.m.: "60 Minutes."

  • 8 p.m.: "The Amazing Race."

  • 9 p.m.: "Three Rivers": Pittsburgh-set medical drama.

  • 10 p.m.: "Cold Case."
Read the full article at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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