It’s not a sight for the weak, but it’s all too common for the team working on “The Night Shift,”the NBC drama that follows the emergency medical team – some of whom served in Afghanistan – working the night shift at San Antonio Memorial Hospital.
Though the series takes place in Texas, production is housed at Albuquerque Studios, where the set has been built across two stages.
“The Night Shift” premiered last summer for an eight-episode run with 7.6 million viewers, giving NBC a solid hit. The eight-show run averaged 6.59 million viewers with a 1.4 rating in the key 18-49 demographic.
More than 100 extras and crew members are on set to help film each episode.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, a show of this caliber brings in a direct spend of $1 million to the local economy per episode, with each episode taking about eight days to shoot.
The second season of the series begins at 9 p.m. tonight and anticipation is high for the actors.
Robert Bailey Jr. plays Dr. Paul Cummings. During the first season, Bailey’s character is often pranked by the staff because he’s new to the medical team.
Bailey says the new season brings some new challenges for Cummings as he’s no longer the “new” one on staff.
“Paul is a bit more comfortable around everybody and everybody is used to him,” Bailey says. “It’s more of a give and take as far as the pranking. He’s at least trying to get back. He’s learned from the first season.”
Bailey says there’s been an immense amount of growth for Cummings.
“He was unsure of who he was and who he wants to be,” Bailey says. “He followed only what he was supposed to because his parents are in the medical field.”
Bailey says Cummings goes through a lot in the new season as he decides what he wants for himself.
“He steps back from it all and evaluates, Bailey says. “It’s been fun to see him grow as a man and as a doctor.”
Cummings works with fellow doctors TC Callahan, Topher Zia and Drew Alister, who all have served in Afghanistan as medics.
During season one, each character had flashbacks to Afghanistan and found ways to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bailey is one of the few doctors who doesn’t have that combat experience but says his character is going to explore that this season.
“I think what Paul relates to in that way is the bond,” he says. “The military members have this bond that’s so strong. He’s never experienced going into action, but he understands the bond.”
Eoin Macken, who plays adrenaline junkie TC Callahan, credits the show’s success to being relatable to a wide audience.
Having been in film for more than a decade, Macken says the cast and crew are amazing on the show.
“I’ve always been impressed by the crew that Albuquerque has,” he says. “The cast has come together as a family. It shows. We have fun on set, and I like the fact that we’re not so restricted on set. It gives us a chance to bond and have fun.”