TV News

TCA 2012: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.' Takes Center Stage

Actors Mamie Gummer (L) and Justin Hartley attend the CW, CBS And Showtime 2012 Summer TCA party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

Emily Owens, M.D., the CW’s new medical drama, took center stage for a panel at Monday’s TCA press tour. The show’s stars, Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, Michael Rady, Aja Naomi King, Kelly McCreary and Necar Zadegan were on hand, along with the show’s creator, Jennie Snyder Urman, to talk about what audiences could expect from the series this fall.

Actors Mamie Gummer (L) and Justin Hartley attend the CW, CBS And Showtime 2012 Summer TCA party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.Emily Owens, M.D., the CW’s new medical drama, took center stage for a panel at Monday’s TCA press tour. The show’s stars, Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, Michael Rady, Aja Naomi King, Kelly McCreary and Necar Zadegan were on hand, along with the show’s creator, Jennie Snyder Urman, to talk about what audiences could expect from the series this fall.

Gummer stars as the title character, who was a geek in high school, and is surprised to find out the hospital she works for is not all that different when it comes to cliques. Urman describes Emily as “a good doctor whose personal life is a mess.” She thinks Emily’s journey is one people can relate to because everyone wants to be liked. Urman said that she herself identifies with people who are not quite put together. “I’m sitting here hoping things are going okay,” she told reporters at the panel.

But unlike the soapy shows she’s been part of in the past (90210, Lipstick Jungle), Urman set out to do a procedural show, where the characters will face a hospital case of the week in each episode. Urman warned that some of those cases might get a bit graphic. She said it was necessary to have gore to take the stakes seriously.

While 80 percent of the drama will take place at the hospital, Urman said viewers will get to see Emily’s home life as well, starting in the second episode. There will also be flashbacks to memories of Emily’s from when she was growing up. Urman likes using narration to show Emily’s point-of-view and sees it as a way to bring in comedy and emotions.

Gummer enjoys the narration as well and likes to use it to deepen her relationship with the character she’s playing. Gummer said she has blocked out everything from her high school experience, but she finds Emily to be endearing. “She falls down and gets back up.” Gummer doesn’t see Emily as being anything like the doctor she played on Off the Map either. “Emily is hopeful, lighter, and wears her heart on her sleeve.”

Urman said she does love a good, slow-burning love triangle and there will be two brewing on the show with Emily in the center of both. The first will be Emily, Will (Hartley) and Cassandra (King) and the other will be Emily, Will and Micah (Rady).

Hartley, who played Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on Smallville for five seasons, was asked about the new version of Arrow and said that he hadn’t seen the pilot, but it “looked tremendous.” Hartley also said there was a misconception that he can choose roles. He fought hard for the role of Will and after failing to get it at the first audition, a friend suggested that he put on a pair of glasses and try again. The plan worked and Hartley was cast after the second audition.

When asked if it was fun to play a mean girl, King said that she didn’t see her character that way. “She’s just competitive.” (Hartley amused everyone by answering first with a ‘yes!’).

Rady feels people will also be able to relate to his character, a fifth year surgical resident, who has to balance his personal issues with some professional ones. Rady also admitted that he was squeamish when it came to the gory stuff and Urman teased him about it while Hartley pointed out that he delivered his own baby.

One thing audiences should not expect is a crossover with Hart of Dixie, even though the leads of both shows are young, female doctors. “I feel like it’s weird when TV people meet,” Urman said.

Emily Owens, M.D., premieres Tuesday, October 16 on the CW.

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About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.