NBC has renewed the acclaimed medical drama “The Night Shift” for a fourth season, with episodes expected to air this spring and summer. The show chronicles the action during the late shift at a very busy emergency room at San Antonio Memorial Hospital in Texas.
Actor Scott Wolf plays Dr. Scott Clemmens on the show; he says there are several good reasons why “The Night Shift” has been cited by fans and the medical community alike for its realism.
“It’s all been drawn from real experience,” Wolf told me during a recent interview. “One of our show’s creators is actually the doctor at the center of the show.”
Wolf says the action on “The Night Shift” is a fictionalized account from one of the best friends of one of the program’s creators who works at a trauma hospital during the night shift at a San Antonio hospital. In other words, art imitates life.
“Almost like a book that we’ve translated into a TV series,” Wolf continued. “We have two medical technicians on-set at all times and they both come out of the ER setting in Los Angeles. They’re also involved in the writing of the medical scenes.”
Wolf says that producers of “The Night Shift” strive for realism in and out of the hospital.
“The commitment to making the medical scenes as accurate as possible helps make all of the relationship-driven stuff seem that much more authentic,” he said.
And there is no shortage of relationships on “The Night Shift.” Wolf’s character is Head of Trauma Surgery at the ER and a recovering alcoholic. Dr. Clemmens has been involved romantically with Dr. Jordan Alexander, played by actress Jill Flint (“Royal Pains,” “The Good Wife”).
With the intensity of the medical action and drama on “The Night Shift,” where do the doctors have time for personal lives? Wolf said, just like in real life, they somehow find the time and it’s important that “The Night Shift” portrays those moments with the utmost care.
“Doctors are people like everyone else,” Wolf said. “As much we count on them to save lives, relationships do happen. We try to strike a balance on the show and I think we pull it off. If the doctor’s private lives interfered with their medical practice, our audience would jump off because it wouldn’t be believable.”
Things can become intense on “The Night Shift;” Wolf said he’s proud of the way the show has been able to portray stories of real depth.
“Stories that didn’t come from a writer’s imagination, but from real life,” he said. “A bunch of the doctors at this hospital also happen to be ex-military medics. Their characters were deployed in Afghanistan and are now back home working stateside. There’s a lot of irreverent humor in terms of how they get themselves and each other through these crazy nights.”
As “The Night Shift” enters its fourth season, Wolf said he’s looking forward to more crazy nights and more realistic in-depth storytelling.
“The action at this hospital is non-stop,” he told me. “From the kind of injuries and traumatic accidents that happen to people and the type of people who choose to be up all night saving people’s lives, all makes for a unique tone. It’s super exciting at this point in the show that it’s better than it’s ever been. Not every show can say that.”