-New Season to Take Viewers Even Further Beyond the Hospital with Intimate Look at Lives on the Civil War Battlefield and Home Front-
MERCY STREET, the much-acclaimed Civil War-era drama set in the occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, will return to CPTV for a second season on Jan. 22, 2017, at 8 p.m. Allegiances blur, loyalties shift and the drama intensifies as the scope of the war pushes beyond Mansion House, the former hotel commandeered by Northern troops to serve as a Union hospital.
Executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise and “The Good Wife”); David W. Zucker (“BrainDead,” “The Good Wife” and “The Man in the High Castle”) of Scott Free; Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing, The Untold Story of the Mayflower”) and David Zabel (“ER”), the series follows the doctors, nurses and soldiers, as well as free, enslaved and contraband African Americans and other residents of the war-torn city, as they navigate the new world emerging from the most cataclysmic event in America’s history.
Season 2 picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the first season finale, continuing to explore life in the chaotic city of Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning black population. The second season will introduce a number of new elements, taking viewers closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.
The new season also delves deeper into the lives of newly freed African Americans, exploring – among other areas – life in a contraband camp, where formerly enslaved African Americans are forced to confront horrific living conditions and disease, but also get a glimpse of freedom.
New actors and guest stars introduced in MERCY STREET, Season 2 include:
- Patina Miller (Pippin, “Madam Secretary,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay − Parts 1 & 2) as Charlotte Jenkins, an educated contraband abolitionist activist. A former slave who escaped to freedom years before through the Underground Railroad, Charlotte (a composite of numerous historical figures, most prominently Harriet Jacobs) offers education to other former slaves and helps with the sick who have contracted smallpox, which was epidemic during the Civil War.
- Brían F. O’Byrne (“Mildred Pierce,” “Aquarius”) as Allan Pinkerton, head of the Union Intelligence Service. The character is based on the real Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish emigrant and abolitionist who founded America’s first detective agency and successfully brought down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals.
- Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Heidi Chronicles) as Maj. Clayton McBurney III, the new hospital chief.
- Lyne Renee (“Of Kings and Prophets,” “Strike Back,” The Hippopotamus) as Lisette Beaufort, a stylish and bold Parisian who has a past with Dr. Foster and creates a stir in the hospital when she accepts a commission with the Union Army in medical visual documentation.
- Chris Wood (“The Carrie Diaries,” “Vampire Diaries”) as Captain Lance Van Der Berg, a handsome young Union captain lodging at the Green home when he strikes up a budding romance with Alice Green, who has ulterior motives for the courtship.
- William Mark McCullough (“Underground”) as Larkin, a Confederate sympathizer in league with Jimmy Green, who helps formulate a plan to provide rebel fighters with munitions.
- Nyambi Nyambi (“Mike & Molly”) as Caleb, a contraband who arrives at Mansion House Hospital searching for a particular woman.
The returning ensemble cast for Season 2 includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead as nurse Mary Phinney; Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster; Gary Cole as James Green, Sr.; Peter Gerety as Dr. Alfred Summers; Hannah James as Emma Green; Brad Koed as James Green, Jr.; Norbert Leo Butz as Dr. Byron Hale; Tara Summers as nurse Anne Hastings; McKinley Belcher III as Samuel Diggs; Jack Falahee as Frank Stringfellow; AnnaSophia Robb as Alice Green; Donna Murphy as Jane Green; L. Scott Caldwell as Belinda; Suzanne Bertish as Hospital Matron Brannan; and Luke Macfarlane as Chaplain Hopkins.
To ensure historical accuracy for the series, the producers engaged a team of advisors headed by noted historian Dr. James M. “Jim” McPherson and including leading experts on Civil War medicine, military history, African-American history, women in the Civil War era and more.
McPherson will return for Season 2, along with Shauna Devine (Learning From the Wounded, The Civil War and the Rise of Medical Science), Jane Schultz (Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America), Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, and Anya Jabour (Scarlett’s Sisters, Young Women in the Old South).
New additions for Season 2 include James Downs (Sick From Freedom: African American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction), an Andrew Mellon New Directions Fellow at Harvard University; Dr. Anthony Tizzano, a member of the clinical faculty of obstetrics and gynecology at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine; Walton Owen, former curator of the Fort Ward Museum in Alexandria, Virginia; Dr. Gordon Dammann, founder of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine; and Jay Sexton (Debtor Diplomacy; Finance and American Foreign Relations in the Civil War era), director of the Rothermere American Institute.
PBS is also creating a comprehensive web experience to complement the MERCY STREET broadcast. In addition to an expanded character hub and episode guide, the site (PBS.org/mercy-street) will continue its popular blog “Mercy Street Revealed,” with behind-the-scenes posts by the production crew and in-season episode recaps written by the series’ historical advisors. Additionally, there will be special features covering various aspects of the production for Season 2, 360 video and photos, and a social hub highlighting the best of #MercyStreetPBS.
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