Though the Monday night drama was declared “cancelled” back in October, NBC made a surprising move and ordered three additional episodes of Trauma a few weeks later. Is this a sign that the show’s not dead yet? Executive Producer Jeffrey Reiner hopes not.
Trauma follows a group of San Francisco first responders as they try to save the lives of those in need. The cast includes Derek Luke, Cliff Curtis, Anastasia Griffith, Kevin Rankin, Aimee Garcia, Billy Lush, Jamey Sheridan, and Taylor Kinney.
Networks will rarely admit that a TV show has been cancelled, especially while they still have some unaired episodes on the schedule. Still, NBC essentially cancelled Trauma when the network acknowledged that they wouldn’t be ordering any more episodes. If you don’t make any more episodes, the show’s over.
Reiner tells the Mercury News, “The obituaries were piling up. A lot of people naturally thought we were dead… And NBC did nothing to counteract those reports.”
But Reiner says that he and his collaborators didn’t take the news lying down. With some episodes still left to produce, they cut more than $500,000 from the show’s production budget. They also started focusing more on personal stories and less on expensive special effects. He mused, “There’s definitely less adrenaline and action-figure stuff… We’re not a soap opera, but we’re getting a feel for who these characters are and I think viewers are becoming invested in them.”
The cost savings, coupled with the hope that ratings will get better and the network’s need for a bit more programming, likely caused NBC to order three more episodes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t likely change the show’s chances of getting a second season. The show would need an infusion of viewers for that to happen. Reiner said, “We’re barely hanging in there, but at least we’re in the hunt right now… And that’s all we can ask for.”
As devoted viewers have surely noticed, the show’s not currently on the schedule. It’s on a lengthy hiatus, a programming move that’s not likely to help the show’s ratings improve. NBC hasn’t said when Trauma will return but the remaining six installments probably won’t air until February 2010 at the earliest.
Still, Reiner refuses to give up hope and likens it to his experience working on Friday Night Lights, a show that was always on the verge of being cancelled, “Heck, we thought we were dead every year, but we lived to fight on. You just concentrate on doing the best work you can — and wait with bated breath.”
What do you think? Is there still hope for Trauma? If the show doesn’t come back, how would you like it to end?
Image courtesy NBC.