Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Lead Cast of PBS' Civil War Drama

Mercy Street Still - H 2015
Courtesy of PBS

Mercy Street Still - H 2015

PBS has formalized the cast for its upcoming Civil War drama Mercy Street.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Josh Radnor, Gary Cole, Peter Gerety, Norbert Leo Butz, McKinley Belcher III, Shalita Grant, Hannah James, Cherry Jones, Jack Falahee, AnnaSophia Robb, Cameron Monaghan, Donna Murphy, Tara Summers, L. Scott Caldwell, Suzanne Bertish, Wade Williams, Luke Macfarlane and Brad Koed have boarded the series.

The six-part series hails from Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife) of Scott Free Productions, and Lisa Q. Wolfinger (Desperate Crossing) and David Zabel (ER), and marks the first American drama to air on PBS in more than a decade.

Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War — New England abolitionist Mary Phinney (Winstead, The Returned) and Confederate supporter Emma Green (newcomer James). The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, Va., has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded. Inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, this new drama reveals the stories of those struggling to save lives while managing their own hardships.  

Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) is set as Jedediah Foster, the civilian contract surgeon who grew up in a privileged Southern slave-owning household as the son of a wealthy Maryland landowner. Cole (Veep) is James Green Sr., who is struggling to maintain his family business while living in an occupied city. Gerety (The Wire) is Dr. Alfred Summers, chief surgeon at Mansion House. Butz (Bloodline) is Dr. Byron Hale, an old-school Army surgeon; Belcher (Power) is Samuel Diggs, a black laborer with a secret ability in medicine; Grant (Bones) is Aurelia Johnson, a laundress with a past; and Jones (24) will guest as Dorothea Dix, the superintendent of the Union Army.

Rounding out the cast are Falahee (How to Get Away With Murder) as Frank Stringfellow; Robb (The Carrie Diaries) as Alice Green; Monaghan (Shameless) as Tom Fairfax; Murphy (Broadway’s The King and I) as Jane Green; Summers (Stalker) as Anne Hastings; Caldwell (Lost) as Belinda; Bertish (Rome) as Matron Brannan; Williams (Prison) as Silas BullenMacfarlane (Brothers and Sisters) as Chaplain Hopkins; and up-and-comer Koed as James Green Jr.

Filmed on location in Virginia, the series joins a PBS Sunday drama lineup in winter 2016 that also includes the final season of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece. Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment secured foreign rights to the series early in the process, and will continue to sell international territories. Roxann Dawson (Treme) and Jeremy Webb (Downton Abbey) will direct.

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