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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Wrong’

The Finale of ABC’s ‘Boston Med’ a Tale of ‘Human Drama’

BostonMed081210.jpgTonight at 10 p.m., ABC will present the finale of “Boston Med,” the documentary series from producer Terry Wrong. The episode has been the subject of many reviews over the last few weeks, as it follows the saga of Joseph Helfgot and Paul Maki, and only the second face transplant performed in the U.S.

“That is something that no documentary maker could plan, and would be very bold for somebody to write fictionally,” Wrong tells TVNewser.

“I Never say to people, ‘this is the face transplant episode.’ That immediately conjures up a kind of frightening surgery,” Wrong says. “The episode is really a story of two men, and two families, and the will to live. A story of hope and loss and ultimately, redemption for one of them.”

It was also an unexpected development.

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‘Boston Med’ Improves ABC Ratings Over Last Summer

boston-med_8-5.jpgThere are two episodes left in ABC News’ summer series “Boston Med” and we checked in to see how it’s performing.

The program is averaging 4.86 million viewers so far over the first six episodes in its summer run, and is drawing a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo. The highest-rated episode — the second — drew 5.28 million viewers.

The docudrama received very positive reviews when it debuted. The Associated Press called it “a bittersweet reminder of what broadcast news divisions can do at their best,” though the show’s EP, Terry Wrong, realistically noted at a press screening that ABC’s commitment to the program’s future likely hinged on how the ratings turned out.

Compared to the same time period last season, when ABC was airing repeats of “Private Practice,” “Med” is up +2.8 million viewers and +86% in the 18-49 demo so far. The show is number two in its timeslot, outdrawing reruns of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU,” but finishing behind repeats of CBS’ “Mentalist,” which average over 7 million viewers.

Previous: World’s Second Face Transplant Patient Featured on ABC’s ‘Boston Med’

‘Boston Med’ Is ‘Dynamic’ But ‘Cost-Efficient’

Terry Wrong — EP of “Boston Med” — explains to The Wrap just how long it took to get the ABC News series to air: “Three months to negotiate, four months to shoot the footage, and 10 to 11 months to edit the 2,500 hours down to eight one-hour episodes.” Even considering the time commitment, he says production costs were relatively low. “This is an inexpensive an hour as you are likely to find on any broadcast network,” Wrong says. “It’s cheaper to produce than a scripted drama by multiples. And it’s cheaper to produce than a big-time reality show by multiples. We’ve been very cost-efficient for the network and still able to provide a different, dynamic type of programming.”

ABC News’ ‘Boston Med’ Gets Rave Reviews

BostonMed_6.23.jpgABC News debuts its newest summer series tonight. “Boston Med,” which chronicles the lives of doctors, nurses and patients, has been getting some good write-ups of late:

Associated Press: “…a bittersweet reminder of what broadcast news divisions can do at their best.”

New York Daily News: “It’s the best of what television can offer, by far, and a model of what the medium should strive to be.”

Variety: “…it’s another welcome respite from the summer stupids… Whatever the Nielsen chart might finally indicate, consider ‘Boston Med’ another successful operation by Mr. Wrong.”

• Newsday: “Nothing seems wasted, nothing is superfluous. As a result, the hugely important work these people do is honored in every shot.”

Of the feedback, EP Terry Wrong tells TVNewser, “I think this is our best series yet so it’s gratifying that a group that watches so much TV, of all stripes, gets the nuances in the crafting and appreciates what they are seeing.”

At a press screening last month, Wrong said ABC’s future commitment to the medical docudrama might depend on the ratings of “Boston Med.” Phyllis McGrady ABC News SVP of Creative Development tells TVNewser she’s just looking toward the next eight weeks: “‘Boston Med’ continues the ABC News tradition of supporting long-form series — invigorating the documentary genre and bringing as many people as we can to watch each week is a part of our mission,” says McGrady.

Earlier on TVNewser: World’s Second Face Transplant Patient Featured on ABC’s ‘Boston Med’

World’s Second Face Transplant Patient Featured on ABC’s ‘Boston Med’

Med_6.1.jpg

In January of 2009, an ABC News crew began documenting the story of Joseph Helfgot, an entertainment executive who needed a heart transplant. Helfgot would never receive a new heart, but instead would donate his own organs to save others — including his face for the world’s second face transplant.

ABC News, and the crews assembling what would become “Boston Med,” suddenly had quite a story to tell.

This morning, after a screening on the 22nd Floor of ABC News headquarters in New York, Susan Whitman-Helfgot talked about how the end of her husband’s life meant a new beginning for Jim Maki. “Within 24 hours we went from being a recipient to a donor family,” says Whitman-Helfgot. And the ABC cameras — producers who shoot — captured it all.

Transplant recipient Maki was impressed with ABC’s documentation of his surgery. The families were comforted by the fact they had the opportunity to turn the cameras away. “We, all of us, had the option to say ‘no more,’” says Whitman-Helfgot. “I think I said it a few times,” added Dr. Bo Pomahac, who lead a team of up to 35 doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists in the day-long procedure.

Executive producer Terry Wrong said this is just one of the aspects that makes “Boston Med” much more a documentary than a reality series.

“We’ve had people pull out during editing,” says Wrong, “but it doesn’t happen to often.”

And just as TV viewing habits have changed over the past decade — when ABC News presented the first-of-its-kind medical documentary “Hopkins 24/7″ — Wrong says “Boston Med” has evolved, too.

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