TCA 2012: 'Emily Owens, M.D.' Spotlights High School Antics in Hospital Setting

Executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman, Mamie Gummer and Justin Hartley presented their new CW show at summer TCA press tour.
"Emily Owens MD"

Turns out, the world in The CW's medical drama Emily Owens, M.D. is just like high school.

Centered on Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer), a recent medical school graduate who believes she can put her past behind her. Little does she know that Denver Memorial Hospital won't be easy to navigate.

For showrunner and executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman, who counts 90210, Lipstick Jungle and Gilmore Girls as credits, the move from soapy storytelling to the procedural world of Emily Owens, M.D. was a conscious choice. "I wanted to do a procedural because I haven't done one," she told reporters at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour session on Monday.

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"I see it as a hospital procedural show," Urman added later. There will be "cases of the week, definitely."

The series, which co-stars CW vets Justin Hartley and Michael Rady, will stay primarily in the hospital setting; about "80 percent," Urman said, though in the episode following the pilot Emily's home environment will be featured. ("The next episode begins with her getting ready [to go into the hospital]," Urman revealed.)

Like high school, there will also be a romantic element at play, an aspect that was introduced in the pilot. There will be a "slow-burning love triangle," said Urman. "There are two love triangles" at work.

Although The CW largely caters to a younger female audience, the producer suggests that they will not skimp on the medical procedures. "You have to be a little graphic," Urman said.

Narration is a big part of the first episode, and Urman noted that that will continue to be a big part of the show. "I think it's a point-of-view show," she said. It is something "we can use comedically, we can use effectively emotionally. I like it as a device."