*On the eve of Thursday’s return of Shonda Rhimes’ “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” on ABC, the network announced it has picked up yet another script from Shondaland – an untitled medical drama set in Baghdad, Iraq.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script centers on a U.S. Army Medevac team whose job it is to save lives while risking their own. They operate out of an oddly Americanized base camp in Baghdad, circa 2004, where they get on each others’ nerves, sleep with the wrong people, navigate “office” politics and party like there’s no tomorrow.
The script is from “Grey’s Anatomy” executive producer Zoanne Clack, who just so happens to have a master’s degree in public health. She also spent a year working with the CDC in international emergency medicine and helped develop an emergency medicine program in response to the bombing of the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She’s been with “Grey’s” since season one and has been with Rhimes and Shondaland’s Betsy Beers since before their production company launched.
“Shonda was kind enough to read me when she was staffing season one, so the way I got my foot in the door, I said, ‘Hey, I have some scripts if you have any chance and want to read them.’ It was a nice moment at the beginning of an incredible journey for me,” Clack told The Hollywood Reporter last year as part of a feature about how to get a job in Shondaland. “That’s probably a very different story than most people would have because most aren’t on the pilot. I came in before Shondaland started. It was staffing season. I’m a physician, and they needed somebody like me for ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ It was Shonda and Jim Parriott, who was [now co-head writer] Stacy McKee’s boss initially, and they both gave me a chance because it was my second writing job after ‘Presidio Med,’ which was a year before that.”
Clack will pen the ABC Studios script and executive produce alongside Shondaland’s Rhimes and Beers.
The Clack project is the third sale of the season for Shondaland, all at ABC. The company has a brides of Christ drama from “Brothers and Sisters” writer Alison Schapker and divorce comedy “Splitsville” from “Trophy Wife” duo Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins.