Fox’s Red Band Society wasn’t originally developed for the network but writer and executive producer Margaret Nagle
“They were willing to go places with this material that was slightly different and off center, and off center is where this material can actually thrive,” said Nagle, who spoke during the dramedy’s panel Sunday at the Fox TCA summer press tour.
“It feels like a better fit,” added Justin Falvey, who joined Nagle on stage along with series stars Astro, Ciara Bravo, Nolan Sotillo, Griffin Gluck, Zoe Levin, Charlie Rowe, Wilson Cruz, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Dave Annable and Octavia Spencer.
The series, which is based on Spanish format Polseres Vermelles, was originally developed for ABC by Friends’ cocreator Marta Kauffman in 2011 but the net decided not to move forward with the show. ABC Studios is still producing the project with Amblin Television for Fox.
Red Band Society follows the patients and employees in a fictitious Los Angeles children’s hospital.
“I think the reason it works so well is because it just it connects these two opposing themes of alienating hospitals and childhood and just whacks them together,” said Rowe. “And you are just watching it evolve and it really works.”
Other highlights from the panel included:
—The series first season focuses on “Charlie” (Gluck), a teenager who is in a coma. Nagle drew on her experiences with her older brother Charlie, who was in a coma when she was very young.
— Spencer joked about why she chose the role: “Well, I got really tired of being a sex symbol.” She added on a more serious note that “it was the best part that I’ve ever read and I’ve read quite a few through the years.”
— Nagle said that she wants to show the hospital as a whole, exploring the not only the patients’ stories but the stories of their family members and the hospital employees as well.
— One reporter asked series star Astro about his new found fame. His movie Earth to Echo recently premiered in theaters. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said adding that he didn’t think it would hit him until he watches Red Band Society on television when it premieres.
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