"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.