April 2013
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Surgeon General – A Pregnant Pause


It’s been a long time coming and we could be facing a long five month wait to September to see the results.  Sleepless nights are guaranteed but hopefully all the worry and stress during delivery will be worth it.

Earlier this week Rod Lurie, the director of the Surgeon General pilot, Tweeted about having completed the director’s cut of the show.  The filming only finished last week so he has done fast work on the edit suite.  We don’t know for certain but we imagine that the CBS network chiefs will watch this cut and make a decision either way.  Or possibly go a third way and request changes before re-evaluating.

We could be on tenterhooks until the official announcements at the mid-May “Upfronts” to find out whether the show has been picked up to series, but we will probably know before then.

There’s been no further significant news regarding the other pilots competing for CBS airtime being picked up, or existing shows being cancelled to make way for new ones.  See the recent article covering that here.  We have seen it suggested that the likely cancellation of a comedy or two on the network may free up time for another drama series.  Surgeon General is still likely to be fighting it out over just a couple of spaces with 3 or 4 other shows.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room: what impact will the big news of the week have on the show? (no offence Kathryn, you’re glowing of course 😮 )

The following “table of speculation” is based on Surgeon General being ordered to series in some form.  If it doesn’t then it is all moot anyway.  There are almost certainly other variations but these seem to be the main four.  Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

# Scenario Result
1a Surgeon General ordered to series for a September debut. Kathryn works on the show along as she can. The pregnancy is worked around (hiding the bump behind things etc.) or written in as either a plot point or just one of those things. Kathryn returns to work when she is able to, possibly in a reduced role.  She could go missing for a number of episodes or the shooting schedule could be tailored to minimise her absence.
1b Surgeon General ordered to series for a September debut. Kathryn leaves the show before filming starts. Her role is re-cast or they change characters. The pilot is broadcast as is or scenes are re-shot without Kathryn.  We’ll call this plan Z.
2a SG gets a mid-season pick-up. It could début at any time if another show is cancelled, most likely in the new year. They shoot what they can of a limited episode order with Kathryn pre-birth. If the show is a success they film further episodes next year to complete what additional order they receive. Kathryn returns and continues as before.
2b SG gets a mid-season pick-up. As per 2a but Kathryn decides to leave the show and they write her character out once her episodes are completed.

We are hoping for an “a” on this one.

There is actually an additional element not mentioned so far:  The network may see Kathryn as key to the success of Surgeon General‘s and the uncertainty her change of circumstance brings could impact their decision on whether to go further with it.  We have heard several actors say recently that even prior to filming a pilot they are required to sign a 7 year contract.  What clauses could be invoked in this situation? [Update: As Melissa points out in the comments below the network will likely have known about Kathryn’s pregnancy prior to signing her so it shouldn’t be a factor.]

We will bring you more news and idle speculation based on little understanding of how these work when we can.

2 comments to Surgeon General – A Pregnant Pause

  • Melissa Rutland

    All the scenarios have been thought about already. It wasn’t a secret to us that she was expecting. Her pregnancy changes nothing except the fact that she is bringing two sure to be GORGEOUS bambinos into this world. Thank you for your continued support.

    • Thank you Melissa. I’d have been very surprised if Kathryn’s pregnancy wasn’t known about and taken into account. I just wanted to outline the possible scenarios as there is bound to be some speculation about it meaning Kathryn will not be on the show.

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