When asked what specifically makes “Miami Medical” different from other medical shows, Lieber relays the story of when, as a teenager, his wife fell ill with what everyone thought was a nasty flu.
Except she took a turn for the worse and within a matter of days slipped into a coma. She was in the last hour of her life and but for trauma specialists making the correct calls, she would have died. Luckily, the trauma doctors correctly diagnosed her endocarditis and prolapsed mitral valve that was pumping infected blood into her system.
This story was the way Lieber pitched “Miami Medical” to Executive Producer Jerry Bruckheimer. But he doesn’t want viewers to think it is solely another medical procedural. “There’s this discipline called trauma that is very specific. Everybody who gets rolled through the doors is dying and your job is to turn them around,” explains Lieber. “How do you get in your car after seeing your fifth auto accident of the week? How do you go to an ATM after you see your fifth mugging at gunpoint? It happens to be set in the medical field because that’s where this dixcipline exists, but it’s not a hospital show … it’s really a character-based procedural.”
We observed that after watching the pilot, we felt like “Miami Medical” was a middle ground between the soapy “Grey’s Anatomy” and the procedural early-seasons “ER.” Laughing, Lieber tells us that’s exactly what they’re going for. “A sweet spot between the two,” he says. “It’s much more about the emotional echoes, not who is sleeping with who. A non-procedural procedural. Most of the episodes start with some sort of accident and those people become the basis for the episode.”
But will the accident and subsequent “Golden Hour,” or the time when a trauma patient has the best chance of survival, drive the structure of the show? “Yes and no. It’s the engine that makes the car go, but it’s not like we’re trying to set it within an hour,” Lieber explains. “It’s based on a real hospital, the Ryder Trauma Center at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. It’s a stand-alone unit for trauma patients. There’s no other trauma center within 200 miles of Miami, so they’re it. They’re the place.”
When asked for details regarding the characters, Lieber teases, “The first eight, if there is an arc, it’s about who Proctor (Jeremy Northam) really is and what his backstory is. He shows up out of nowhere and has this scar on his chest. Discovering him is what the first eight are all about.”
Is there any kind of romance brewing or they trying to stay away from that? “We’ve been given dispensation to let our characters have sex, which is not typical of CBS. But what combination that may happen in is… you’ll just have to watch the show. Two characters do end up in bed together within the first eight episodes.”
“Miami Medical” premieres Friday, April 2 on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT.