11:30am PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Fall TV Pilot Preview: Fox's 'The Mob Doctor'
After ending House last season, Fox has slotted in The Mob Doctor as its new medical drama (and second new medical series, alongside comedy The Mindy Project). Mob centers on young surgeon Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), who moonlights as a doctor for the Chicago mafia between hospital shifts.
The Hollywood Reporterscreened the pilot -- one of Fox's five new offerings -- before its September airing, and has five things to know about the mob-medicine mash-up.
1. It promises horse heads and hospital beds, in equal measure. The pilot's medical dramaDNA comes through in Grace's non-mob cases -- a young boy with a gunshot wound, in this episode -- and her interactions with others at the hospital, such as her boyfriend and fellow surgeon Brett Robinson (Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford) and her egocentric superior Flanigan (David Pasquesi). Against the hospital backdrop, she faces a disturbing assignment from the mafia, to whom she has become indebted for her brother's life.
2. William Forsythe plays Grace's mafia employer, Constantine Alexander, in his second recent TV role as a mobster -- he also appeared as violent bootlegger Manny Horvitz last season on Boardwalk Empire (and survived). His Constantine is calculating and ruthless, but also serves as a compassionate father figure to Grace. Forsythe is a seasoned hand at playing criminals, his previous roles includinga young gangster in Once Upon a Time In America, real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and Al Capone on the 1993 syndicated The Untouchables TV series.
3. Don't mistake the stars' youth for inexperience. Gilford has gone from one starring role to the next -- first in four seasons of NBC/DirecTV's Friday Night Lights, then ABC's short-lived tropical medical drama Off the Map, playing a doctor. Mob Doctor marks Spiro's first lead role in a TV drama after her four-season turn on TBS comedy My Boys. In supporting roles are Jaime Lee Kirchner, who brings medical show experience from a leading gig on NBC's nurse drama Mercy, and Jesse Lee Soffer, best known for his four seasons on soap As the World Turns. Relative newcomers include James Carpinello, as a mafia associate, and Floriana Lima,as a nurse friendly with Grace --neither has had a major TV role, but Carpinello's credits include The Punisher and upcoming Gangster Squad; Lima has a recurring role on web series Poor Paul.
4. The pilot has a great car fixation. It offers glimpses of a Lamborghini Murcielago and a chase featuring an Audi R8, and a flashback-introduced mystery surrounds a vintage Cadillac. But viewer discretion is advised -- some wince-worthy things eventually befall that Audi.
5. Mob Doctor is co-creator Josh Berman's first foray into medical series, but he hasn't had much luck with hourlong dramas. His 2005 cop series Killer Instinct and 2006 kidnapping drama Vanished, both for Fox, were each slashed after one season. But Berman's latest creation before Mob, the comedy Drop Dead Diva (which Mob co-creator Rob Wright also scripts), is currently airing its fourth season on Lifetime.
Watch a trailer for the series below and hit the comments with your thoughts. Mob Doctor premieres Monday, Sept. 17 at 9 p.m. after Bones.