UPDATED: Key art for NBC’s surprise summer breakout The Night Shift, which is coming back as a midseason series, triggered a game of “Who’s Missing” at TCA today. The NBC poster, displayed in the lobby of the ballroom where the network’s show panels are held, features cast members of the medical drama with the tagline, “No one goes down without a fight.” However, two cast members from the show did seem to have gone down during the creation of the poster, which features six of the series’ eight regulars.
Key art for series typically showcases the leads or the entire casts. In this case, the focus fell on those who were left out: Robert Bailey Jr. and Brendan Fehr. The Night Shift is a diverse ensemble that features two black characters, played by Bailey and JR Lemon, and a gay character, played by Fehr. Lemon made it to the poster (barely, that’s him in the lower right corner), while Bailey and Fehr were snubbed altogether, stirring a lot of buzz among industry types. NBC had no comment on the snafu though insiders noted that the cast members were left out because the marketing executives in charge of the key art tried and couldn’t fit all of them in. Under chairman Bob Greenblatt, NBC has been very inclusive of LGBT characters, including launching two series with gay leads, The New Normal and the upcoming One Big Happy.
Ironically, the key art for Season 1 of The Night Shift almost hijacked the show’s panel, becoming a central topic of conversation as critics took shots at the staged photo which, for some reason, featured star Eoin Macken driving a motorcycle through the ER. “It was awesomely bad. And it was dead on,” Fehr said of the poster which included the entire cast. Co-creator Jeff Judah defended the network. “People are trying to promote the show. Everyone does the best they can, so you try not to crap on anybody. It’s like everyone takes a shot at something. Not everything’s a home run… Somehow we’re Season 2. Who knows? Maybe half the people watched because of the motorcycle.”
“The Night Shift was not the only NBC poster mishap today. In the case of hit drama Chicago Fire, the key art used in the lobby and during the show panel actually featured an extra cast member. It included former co-star Lauren German (second from right), who left in September after her character was killed off.