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Trauma: Executive Producer Hopes Show’s Not Over Yet

cancelled TraumaThough 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.”

Can Trauma still be saved?

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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.”

TV show supportAs 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?


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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

AliceM January 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Actually, cutting the budget is a good thing. OK, big helio crash, lots of fire. Lots of COST! But that does nothing for character development, relationships and dialogue. I was an EMT in San Francisco and I REALLY loved seeing “THE city” again. Plus, I can identify with the characters. I’m thrilled to see it returning. The networks need to find a new way to measure viewership. Just asking the Neilson families to log programs doesn’t cut it any more. There are too many different ways to ‘view’ a TV program. I’m currently in EMT training again, this time in Washington state. So I’m recording the programs I want to see. Opps, I guess that doesn’t count. Right, NBC? You keep TRAUMA, ditch MERCY (did I mention I’m also an RN?) and everybody will be happy.


Laura January 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Pleeeeeeese dont go into more detail on the charators. Keep it on the incident. We dont need another personal drama. That was what made this show good.


Philip January 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Cancelling the TV show “Trauma” is a big mistake! But knowing what NBC does next is what they usually are all about.


Liz January 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I love Trauma, please give it some time. I love the characters and the plots!! It is a great show!!!


alisa January 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm

please please do not cancell the show TRAUMA!


Suzanne Sunshine January 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Please bring back “Trauma” as it is so very interesting, the characters are diverse, the plots are varied, and there is a warmth to the show that is missing in many shows today.
I have talked to many viewers who feel that this cancelation is a mistake for such a popular show. And, I must add that women of all ages adore Rabbit! He has a sex appeal that is like no one else’s.
Please, NBC, reconsider!


Leann Sweeney January 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

Trauma is COMING BACK! (thanks to the Jay Leno mess). There will be new episodes from March through the end of May! YAHOO!


Kate January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I love watching a good medical drama. However, if they are not going to do it right, then don’t do it at all! Sick of half-assed shows with no substance. Its fine to concentrate on the characters lives-but don’t write lame stories. And PLEASE NO MORE REALITY SHOWS!


jennifer January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Trauma is much better than Chuck. I always made sure that I was watching it on Monday nights. Now I have to watch CBS. NBC does not have any other good shows in primetime to watch, besides Mercy and it is getting boring. I have also went thru EMT training. And agree that their medical terms are very acurate. I hope more people find this and post comments. And NBC brings the show back. Take Parks & Rec. off or fill in Leno’s slot with Trauma.


Carlos G. Hernandez January 12, 2010 at 9:42 pm

They better bring back Trauma…It is a great show…I actually looked foward to monday to watch this show…


auntbetsey January 12, 2010 at 9:32 pm

It’s potentially a much better show than Mercy. I liked all the action and special effects–made things exciting. And, of course, I love Rabbit. Maybe NBC’s need for more programming to fill in for the canceled Leno show will give Trauma the chance it needs. I hope to see it again after the Olympics.


Angela January 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Is Trauma canceled????? Someone please let me know.
I am an EMT and I love this show. It is just as good as “Third Watch” was
back in the late ’90’s. Please Please Please bring it back!!!!!!!!!!
There is not another show on any channel like this one. If this is canceled I hope
another channel will produce a show like this one. It is great.


Angela January 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Is Trauma canceled?????
I am an EMT and I love this show. I is just as goo as Third Watch was.
Please I hope it comes back on. “Chuck” sucks!!!!!!


Cindy January 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

Please, please, please bring this show back. I just love the characters and don’t want it to go off the air. If it does, I go back to CBS’ line up on Monday night.


Claudia Watkins January 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

My husband and i look forwrd to MOndays nights every week to watch this show. It must return or we will look to other networks for entertainment. It is a GREAT show!!!!


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