PBS Announces New Talent and Directors For MERCY STREET Season Two
– Brían F. O’Byrne, Patina Miller, Bryce Pinkham Join the Cast –
– Award-Winning Creative Team Adds Stephen Cragg and Laura Innes –
ARLINGTON, VA; April 26, 2016 – PBS announced today that MERCY STREET is adding new actors and directors to the series’ robust talent list for Season Two, which is currently in production in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.
MERCY STREET’s new cast members:
- Tony Award-winner and Emmy Award-Nominee Brían F. O’Byrne (“Mildred Pierce,” “Aquarius”) is Allan Pinkerton, head of the Union Intelligence Service, based on the real Pinkerton.
- Tony Award-winner Patina Miller (Pippin, “Madam Secretary,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 & 2) is Charlotte Jenkins, a black Northern abolitionist and former slave who escaped to freedom years before through the Underground Railroad (a composite of numerous historical figures, most prominently Harriet Jacobs).
- Tony Award-nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Heidi Chronicles) is Maj. Clayton McBurney III, the new hospital chief.
MERCY STREET’s new directors:
- Stephen Cragg, who is directing episodes one and two, is an Emmy Award-winning director. His directing credits include episodes of “Scandal,” “Nashville,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “ER,” “Boston Legal,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “Southland,” “Doogie Howser, MD” and many others.
- Laura Innes, who is directing episodes three and four, is best known for her long-running role as Dr. Kerry Weaver on “ER.” She has directed episodes of “How to Get Away With Murder,” “The Affair,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “The West Wing,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and others.
- Director of episodes five and six to be announced.
The returning ensemble cast for Season Two of MERCY STREET includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, “The Returned,” The Spectacular Now) as nurse Mary Phinney, Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother,” Liberal Arts, Broadway’s Disgraced) as Dr. Jedediah Foster, Gary Cole (“Veep,” “The Good Wife,” “Entourage”) as James Green, Sr., Hannah James as Emma Green, Brad Koed Jr. as James Green, Jr., Norbert Leo Butz (“Bloodline”) as Dr. Byron Hale, Tara Summers (“You’re the Worst,” “Rake,” “Boston Legal”) as nurse Anne Hastings, McKinley Belcher III (“Show Me a Hero,” “Chicago PD”) as Samuel Diggs, Jack Falahee (“How to Get Away With Murder”) as Frank Stringfellow, AnnaSophia Robb (“The Carrie Diaries,” The Way, Way Back, Bridge to Terabithia) as Alice Green, Donna Murphy (“Resurrection,” “Hindsight,” Broadway’s Passion and TheKing and I) as Jane Green, L. Scott Caldwell (“Southland,” “Lost,” “ER,” The Fugitive) as Belinda, Suzanne Bertish (“Rome”) as Hospital Matron Brannan and Luke Macfarlane (“Brothers and Sisters,” “Over There”) as Chaplain Hopkins.
The first season, executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise); David W. Zucker (“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”), drew a 3.85 rating (Nielsen Live + 7) for the January 17, 2016, premiere, reaching more than 5.7 million viewers (persons 2+). The series’ six episodes have streamed more than two million times (from January 14-March 6) across all platforms, including PBS station websites, PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, FireTV, ROKU, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Windows 10.
“We are thrilled to add these talented actors and directors to the MERCY STREET production, both behind and in front of the camera,” said co-creator and executive producer Lisa Q. Wolfinger. “They each individually bring a new perspective to the series, and together, will take Season Two to new heights.”
“It has been a privilege for all of us on MERCY STREET to be able to tell these stories at the intersection of drama and history. This new season, with new faces, presents an exciting opportunity to build on all we’ve accomplished in Season One,” said co-creator and executive producer David Zabel. “Having worked with Stephen Cragg and Laura Innes for many years at ‘ER,’ and then on many projects since, I am eager to bring their considerable talents to this great ensemble.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome a new set of actors, directors and historical advisors to the MERCY STREET family for Season Two, as well as introduce viewers to compelling new characters with captivating story lines,” said executive producer David W. Zucker.
“Season One of MERCY STREET received such a positive response, and PBS is delighted to add these new members to our talented and diverse cast and crew for Season Two,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Officer and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS.
To ensure historical accuracy of the first season, 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 Two, 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 Two 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, VA; 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.
MERCY STREET’s first season took place in the spring of 1862 in Alexandria, Virginia, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria was the central melting pot of the region, filled with civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded soldiers from both sides, free blacks, enslaved and contraband (escaped slaves living behind Union lines) African Americans, prostitutes, speculators and spies. MERCY STREET follows the lives of all of these characters, who collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel, which has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army hospital.
Season Two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the Season One finale, continuing to explore the growing chaos within 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 predicament of the burgeoning black population. The season will introduce a number of new elements, taking us closer to the fight and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.
The full second season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from PBS Distribution: ShopPBS.org; 800-PLAY-PBS, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The film will also be available for digital download. Season One can be purchased now.
Amazon Prime Video is the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for MERCY STREET, with each episode available to Prime members in the U.S. seven days after its broadcast on PBS stations.
MERCY STREET, Season One was made possible by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Virginia Tourism, Visit Alexandria, FAGE and public television viewers.
MERCY STREET is a production of Scott Free Productions and Lone Wolf Media. Executive producers: Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker and co-creators Lisa Q. Wolfinger and David Zabel; co-executive producer Clayton Krueger; producer David Rosemont.
About Scott Free Productions
Scott Free Productions is the film and television production company of acclaimed film director Ridley Scott. In the 20 years since Scott Free was formed, the company has earned over 70 Emmy nominations with 20 wins, and 20 Golden Globe nominations for its highly acclaimed television projects, which include: the Peabody Award-winning “The Good Wife,” which is in its seventh and final season on CBS; a series adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s classic “The Man in the High Castle” for Amazon, now in production on season 2; the Civil War medical drama “Mercy Street,” PBS’ first scripted series in over a decade, now in production on season 2; “BrainDead” a satiric-thriller CBS summer series from Robert and Michelle King; and the acclaimed “Killing” telefilms (“Killing Kennedy” “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Jesus”) for National Geographic, each of which premiered to record numbers for the channel. Current productions in 2016 include: “Taboo” for FX and BBC; “Killing Reagan” for National Geographic; “The Terror” for AMC; “Sensory” for CBS; and “JCVJ” for Amazon.
Lone Wolf Media
Lone Wolf Media is an independent television production company with a longstanding reputation for developing and producing award-winning programming across a variety of genres. Founded in 1997 by Kirk and Lisa Q. Wolfinger, Lone Wolf Media has grown since then to become a leader in factual entertainment. Recent primetime specials include “D-Day in HD” for History Channel and THE BOMB for PBS. Current projects include two anniversary specials for PBS — one about the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and the other about Pearl Harbor — also a WGBH/NOVA special about the Holocaust and a World War One special about a secret network of underground caves for Smithsonian Network. President and owner Lisa Q. Wolfinger created the new PBS American drama concept in collaboration with David Zabel, showrunner and lead writer on NBC’s hit series “ER.” MERCY STREET was inspired by the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and a shared passion for history.
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