Trauma: NBC Series Pays Homage to Emergency! TV Show

IMAGEWhen NBC’s Trauma series was first announced, more than a few TV viewers were reminded of the 1970s Emergency! TV show. Trauma Executive Producer Dario Scardapane says that’s not a coincidence.

Emergency! revolves around a Los Angeles team of devoted paramedics, doctors, nurses, and firemen who are quick to respond when there’s an accident or disaster. The cast includes Robert Fuller, Julie London, Bobby Troup, Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Tim Donnelly, Mike Stoker, Marco Lopez, Michael Norell, and Ron Pinkard.

The series ran for six seasons on NBC, from 1972 until 1977. It was cancelled after 122 installments but members of the cast returned in five made-for-TV movies between 1978 and 1979.

In two of the TV movies, some of the characters visit San Francisco and one of the movies involves two airplanes crashing over a residential neighborhood. Up until that time, it was supposedly the most expensive TV movie to date. That sounds a lot like Trauma.

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Scardapane says that that’s no coincidence. There’s been at least one reference to a regular Emergency! character and there’s more to come. He said, “The creators of Trauma are huge fans of the show Emergency! and the reference to [Captain] Hank Stanley was just a small nod to that show.”

He continued, “As you’ll see in the upcoming episodes there are bigger nods including a cameo guest spot by one of… either Johnny or Roy are coming to Trauma to kind of give a shout, a wink and a nod to Emergency!

He concluded, “I think that the two shows share a lot and I really would hope that we could live up to the promise of that show and throughout the episodes and in lots and lots of the scripts there are little hints, nods, winks all sorts of little things that give props and shouts to Emergency!… We are big fans. I grew up on the show.”

Viewers won’t have to wait long for the Emergency! cameo. Look for Tighe, who played Roy DeSoto, in next week’s episode “13.” He’ll be playing a substitute captain who’s been out of the field for awhile.

What do you think? Did you pick up on the allusions to the old Emergency! show? Do you think Trauma’s a worthy successor? Is it better or worse?

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14 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Keith says

    I agree Jennifer we do need to attempt to save this show here are some other Petition sites, as well you can write the advertisers expressing you enjoy their product and would like their support for Trauma. It will help it saved a show on Fox which i will not mention, here are some links.
    If you type in petitons to save Trauma a hugh amount come up, if you love this show then please take the time to sigh the petitions, if NBC cant afford this show after the Leno settlments maybe Fox, or USA, or CBS, ABC someone will see this as a show that deserves another chance.God Bless

  2. Jennifer says

    I thought this show was both action packed, with nice looking actors (RAbbit) it was a lot of drama and some comments on other sites state we need comedy and not so much sadness, but the point was missed in a big way. When Emergency aired it too hits in the press at first, not every rescue turned out to be a save, and back then as today no one wants to see someone die. Yes Trauma put some big effects in their show and it started off with expostions, but it started to be a little less action and a little more of the story, and what sucks is just when the storys of the Characters began to come out they cancel it.
    What I found shocking was how many people I ask if they watched and they had not heard about the show. The only thing they were hearing about NBC’s line up was the late night drama and just was interested in the comments being throw around by grown men. So I purchased the series from iTumes and threw a Trauma party, just some good food and popcorn and I was shocked that thirty people who never heard of the show fell in love with it. So I am trying to change NBC mind about canceling the show, if you want a second season then it takes a about 30 seconds to sign the petition to save TRauma at . Please take the time so NBC hears you, if they still refuse to change their minds who knowns manybe we can send the petition to other networks, I know if Fox picked it up it would be a hit no matter what.

  3. ChrisR says

    we dont this just bring back Emergency! characters to Trauma as regulars
    I actualy think it will work especially to , I am sure the creative writers can come up with some creative ways to do it.

    I would also like to see a spinoff of ER with ABBY and Luka

  4. Kentucky Konnoisseur says

    Oh — Kevin Tighe looked like he should be in a nursing home, not a firehouse; that was shameful.

  5. Kentucky Konnoisseur says

    I live near SF and haven’t seen anywhere near the accidents and mayhem in real life. I know there are dramatic licenses, but this show suggests a constant parade of large scale and traumatic incidents. What was awesome about “Emergency!” was that the mundane became interesting and the charcters had real problems that other people could relate to. NBC should look toward “Mercy” for it’s guide on real life medical Shows.

  6. Connie says

    I started watching Trauma to compare it to Emergency! I grew up watching Emergency! and it will be my favorite, but I greatly enjoy both shows; Trauma for the action and Emergency! for the interaction between the characters.

  7. lolo4cats says

    I was immediately reminded of Emergency! when Trauma started, but Trauma is so much better. If someone who hadn’t seen it before watched Emergency! now, they’d think it was boring … even though it was great in its day. However, Trauma keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through the show! They both have the personal relationships, but Trauma’s draw you in more. I cried when Rabbit started talking about his childhood! Keep the show and keep Rabbit!

  8. Travis says

    I notice the allusions and I recognized Captain Cal was played by Kevin Tighe (Roy de Soto). Trauma is almost as good as Emergency, in fact remove the sexual suggestions and it would be better than Emergency.

  9. iodine63 says

    No I really do not see very much of a similarity between Emergency! and Trauma. Emergency! really was a show about the rescues and did not focus on the personal lives of the crews or hospital staff. The action and reactions spoke for themselves. I see Trauma more as a prime time soap opera. It doesn’t truly reflect the lives of paramedics or EMTs.

  10. Lou Ann says

    I loved Emergency when I was little. I always dreamed of being a paramedic or a doctor since I was young. I am an EMT and a NURSE now. Emergency was so awesome back then but Trauma is better yet. The only difference is the era in which they are broadcast. Emergency wouldn’t make it today due to the viewing audience of today but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great show. People expect more from a television show than they did back then.

  11. says

    awww that’s not fair. Emergency is before my time but i love Trauma. how can i say if Emergency is better if i’ve never watched it. LOVE TRAUMA Though, hope fans continue too watch so we can get the ratings up & stick around!

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