Code Black on CBS has landed a second season, but not without a few sacrifices.
In the recent round of cancellations, Code Black‘s fate had yet to be decided, although it was looking like the medical drama would be the next victim on the chopping block.
However, Code Black is getting a second chance at life from the network thanks to a pitch from series creator and executive producer Michael Seitzman. Season two will revamp the series in an effort to more realistically reflect how medical residents come and go in a hospital such as the fictional Angels Memorial Hospital from the show. This means that each season, should the series continue to be renewed, will cycle through a cast of younger characters.
As part of this revamp, series regulars Bonnie Somerville and Raza Jaffrey will be exiting the show and recurring actors Jillian Murray and Boris Kodjoe have been promoted to series regulars for the sophomore season.
Seitzman told Deadline, “The concept of the show is for each season to begin on the first day for incoming freshman residents, just as in real life there is a cycle of residents coming in and residents either graduating or moving on. Another hallmark of the show is that our fictional hospital is intensely populated. Not only do we average 800 extras per episode, but we have a revolving cast of doctors and nurses who enter and exit the show regularly. Bonnie Somerville and Raza Jaffrey are beloved by the audience, as well as the rest of the cast and crew. Their departure is painful for us, is no reflection on the extraordinary work they both did on the show.”
“The goal is to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, wondering if the jeopardy is real, and the only way to do it is to make it real,” added Seitzman.
As Seitzman said, Somerville and Jaffrey’s departure from the show does not reflect negatively on their abilities. The casting decision is purely due to the new creative direction the series is heading in.
Code Black averaged moderate ratings, but its renewal is particularly surprising in light of the cancellation of both Limitless and CSI:Cyber. According to Deadline, CBS chose to renew Code Black despite Limitless and CSI: Cyber having higher ratings because the network believes the medical drama has long-term potential.