John Ridley (American Crime, 21 Years A Slave) and Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, Nash Bridges) will explore Hurrican Katrina in Five Days at Memorial, a limited series at Apple TV+, via Deadline. The series will be based on Sheri Fink’s (War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival) non-fiction novel Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hosptial.
According to Deadline, the series will highlight the first five days after Hurrican Katrina hit the Gulf Coast – specifically a New Orleans hospital – in 2005 as one of the nation’s worst natural disasters. Centered on the staff of Memorial Medical Center, the series explores themes of morality and mortality as the medical staff take desperate measures to survive the hurricane’s aftermath.
Ridley and Cuse will serve as writers, executive producers, and co-showrunners for the series, via Deadline. Cuse reserved the rights to Fink’s work through his production deal with ABC Signature. Fink will also produce.
Originally published in 2013, Fink’s book began as a 2009 ProPublica piece, later appearing in The New York Times, According to Deadline, Fink investigated the actions of Dr. Anna Pou and other Memorial medical staff as they faced taking care of patients for five days without power and limited resources. Unable to maintain an adequate quality of life, doctors found themselves in the predicament of making tough decisions on behalf of their patients. By the end of the ordeal, a total of 40 bodies were found within the facility.
Fink’s book handles the task of questioning Pou’s ethics, as many suspected a number of ailing patients were euthanized, via Deadline. Fink also wrestles with whether Pou and two other nurses should have faced homicide charges as authorities later found high levels of morphine in 23 of the deceased.
Prior to this adaptation, Ryan Muprhy (The Politician, Nip/Tuck) acquired the rights for the basis of his then-second edition of FX anthology series American Crime Story, according to Deadline. Before this iteration, Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) had eyed bringing the story to film.