*Octavia Spencer avoids having to go up against her co-star of “The Help” by one day when their respective dramas join the TV lineup this fall.
Viola Davis’ “How to Get Away With Murder,” a Shonda Rhimes production, will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC, while Spencer will appear Wednesdays at 9 in Fox’s Steven Spielberg creation, “Red Band Society,” a drama based on the award-winning Spanish series, “Polseres Vermelles.”
“This is probably the best pilot script I’ve ever read. I’m not lying when I say that,” Spencer told us. Margaret Nagle (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Good Lie”) wrote the pilot and developed the project for American television.
The show is told through the eyes of a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the pediatric ward of Ocean Park Hospital in Los Angeles.
Spencer plays Nurse Jackson, who runs the ward and takes a tough love approach to getting these kids through the most difficult part of their lives.
“I play the linchpin in everything,” Spencer said. “All the departments kind of funnel through her, and she’s no-nonsense. Nurse Jackson doesn’t take anything from anybody, doctors or patients. And it follows these kids who all have illnesses, and they become allies, and we watch their journey through their illnesses and how they are able to deal with them and how their parents perhaps aren’t able to deal with them. It’s a very dramatic show but it is just perfectly blended with pathos and humor. You wouldn’t believe how wonderfully balanced it is.”
Below, Spencer says there’s more to Nurse Jackson than meets the eye.
“Red Band Society,” from Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. beginning this fall.
Below, Fox’s complete Fall 2014 lineup (new shows are in all caps):
8-9 PM – GOTHAM
9-10 PM – Sleepy Hollow
8-9 PM – UTOPIA
9-9:30 PM – New Girl
9:30-10 PM – The Mindy Project
8-9 PM – Hell’s Kitchen
9-10 PM – RED BAND SOCIETY
8-9 PM – Bones
9-10 PM – GRACEPOINT
8-9 PM – Masterchef Junior
9-10 PM – UTOPIA
7-10:30 PM – Fox Sports Saturday
7-7:30 PM – NFL Game
7-8 PM – Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM – The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9-9:30 PM – Family Guy
9:30-10 PM – MULANEY