Medical drama’s hot streak this pitch season continues with another sale at ABC. Cold Blood, from Criminal Minds executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, is taking a different spin on the the medical genre, mixing it with a conspiracy thriller. Set at New York Memorial, the world’s most prestigious hospital, Cold Blood has the feel of The Firm in a medical setting. It follows Dr. Cara West, an African-American attending who joins the staff after the mysterious disappearance of one of their doctors. She soon discovers that this elite team has no problem crossing ethical boundaries in order to make progress and save lives. The series focuses on the big business of medicine and the spiraling effect of every decision a doctor must make. ABC Studios, where Sherman Barrois is under an overall deal, is producing, with her and Kaplan executive producing.
This marks a return to the medical genre for Sherman Barrois, who served as an executive producer on the final season of ER. She also worked for five seasons on another NBC drama with medical elements, Third Watch. Sherman Barrois is with WME and Felker Toczek.
Not only has this drama selling season been dominated by medical shows early on, it has produced something I can’t recall seeing — not one but two medical dramas conceived with black protagonists. The other is The Cure, from New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell and Medium creator Glenn Gordon Caron, which centers on an African-American neurologist. (ABC’s 2000 drama Gideon’s Crossing starring Andre Braugher was cast color blind, with the character based on a white physician.) The Cure has a put pilot commitment, as do three other medical concepts, ABC’s medical advocate drama project from David Marshall Grant, Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein, and CBS’ untitled project from Jason Katims and Sarah Watson and Code Black, based on Ryan McGarry’s feature documentary. CBS also has an adaptation of the South Korean medical drama Good Doctor with Daniel Dae Kim producing as well as Austen’s Razor, centered on a character inspired by Arthur L. Caplan, an authority on bioethics, which has a production commitment. ABC has a drama from Amy Holden Jones with a significant penalty, and NBC has Critical, from Eva Longoria, John Glenn and Katie Lovejoy.