PRESS TOUR: Kids with cancer in Fox's 'Red Band Society'

Sunday, 20 July 2014 06:00 PM Written by 

Click here to read Friday's TV Q&A and other posts from the summer TV critics press tour.

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Fox's "Red Band Society" (9 p.m. Wednesday starting Sept. 17) may be about kids and teens living in a hospital pediatric ward, but there won't be dying children on a weekly basis.

The series, a mashup of "The Breakfast Club" and "The Fault in our Stars" (with a hint of "Glee"), is based on a Spanish program but was also informed by showrunner Margaret Nagle's experience with her brother, who was in a coma for a year as a child.

Read more after the jump. ...

"85 percent of all kids -- and pediatrics goes to age 24 -- recover so it's really about that time you spend in the hospital, how it changes you," Nagle said. 

The arc of the show's first season is about Charlie (Griffin Gluck) -- also the name of Nagle's brother -- who seems like to come out of his coma at the end of season one. Nagle said the generation coming up is less interested in the immortality of vampires in "Twilight" and more interested in the mortality of stories like "The Fault in Our Stars."

"They're not afraid to embrace these things," Nagle said. "The way this show can really work is to go to that place."

She invoked the names of "My So-Called Life," "Freaks and Geeks" and "M*A*S*H" as touchstone series that inspired the tone of "Red Band Society."

In addition to a roster of newcomer teen actors, "Red Band" also stars Dave Annable ("Brothers and Sisters") as a doctor and Octavia Spencer ("The Help") as a nurse.

 

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