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PaleyFest: Fox Told ‘Red Band Society’ Producers to ‘Edge It up’

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Is Red Band Society, the new Fox show about the patients and employees in a fictitious children’s hospital in Los Angeles, a high school show because it features teenagers, or a medical melodrama because they are all sick?

“I feel like it is a combination,” said executive producer Rina Mimoun Monday on stage at the Paley Center for Media during Fox’s portion of PaleyFest Fall TV Previews. “It’s a relationship dramedy set in hospital.”

Mimoun discussed the research that has been done for the show to reflect reality, crediting Fox for embracing that realistic approach.

“Everytime you say anything to Fox, they’re like, ‘can you edge it up? Can you make it darker and twisted?’” she said.

Mimoun said that the 13 episodes will take place over three weeks in the show’s time, giving almost a day-by-day account of hospital’s patients and employees. She added that it’s possible someone will die, but she doesn’t know when.

“These young (actors), they’re not going to get big heads, because the minute they act out, they’re going to be dead,” said Wilson Cruz, who plays Nurse Kenji Gomez-Rejon.

Red Band Society premieres Wednesday, Sept. 17 on Fox.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—  Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer plays Nurse Jackson, who provides the “tough love” to the teenage patients, said Rebecca Rittenhouse, who plays Nurse Brittany Dobler. “She (Brittany) provides the hug,” Dobler said, “and Nurse Jackson provides the milk.”

— Mimoun noted that Brittany might be getting a love story with the “hot doctor” played by Dave Annable. “That Dave Annable is something,” Cruz said. “And he married a Latina, so I’m halfway there.”

— Cruz said he shadowed his nurse friend to prepare for his role as Nurse Kenji. “I remember walking out with him and feeling like he had just taken off a costume,” Cruz said. “The minute the doors closed, he was like, ‘martini?’ Theres a compartmentalizing that needs to happen.”