Not just another medical drama. That’s the message the cast of New Amsterdam is sharing in a new sneak peek. Ryan Eggold plays the lead, Dr. Max Goodwin. The character is based on Dr. Eric Manheimer, who wrote a book called Twelve Patients.
“The origin of the book was really my experiences at Bellevue hospital where I was the chief medical director for 15 years,” says Manheimer, who serves as a producer on the drama. “So for me, this is all about the stories and patients.”
In the sneak peek, Dr. Goodwin holds a staff meeting at the hospital and fires the entire cardiac surgical department, then adds: “Every department that places billing above care will be terminated.”
“We all feel like the system is too big to change, but guess what, we are the system. And we need to change,” he tells a group of very unhappy employees. “Let’s get into some trouble, let’s be doctors.”
Eggold, 34, absolutely loves the role, mostly because of Max’s views on everything. “He’s got this caution to the wind attitude,” he says. “It’s like, roll the sleeves up, get your hands dirty. If that gets you fired, then that gets you fired … There are people who are reaching to make real change in the world. That’s really what I love about the show.”
While Max fires everyone, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care – in fact, he rehires some. Dr. Floyd Pearson, played by Jocko Sims, is one of those people.
“I’m unfiring you … to run the cardiac surgical department,” Max tells him. When Dr. Pearson reminds Max that there is no department now since he fired everyone in it, Max responds, “Then build one … a good one. It’s only people’s hearts we’re talking about.”
Ultimately, the cast agrees that the show works because it’s a hospital full of real people. “Part of the magic of this show is that these characters really do exist in these walls, and we’re just lucky enough to portray them and try to do them justice,” says Tyler Labine, who plays Dr. Iggy Frome.
New Amsterdam premieres on NBC Tuesday, September 25, at 10 p.m. ET.