When Code Black returns with its second season later this month, it will be minus doctors Christa Lorenson and Neal Hudson. Also missing? Any explanation of where they went.
“We went back and forth on this a lot,” executive producer Michael Seitzman tells TVLine when asked how the CBS medical drama will address the departures of Bonnie Somerville and Raza Jaffrey. “We toyed with a lot of different versions of addressing it. But none of them seemed to have any real weight.”
Every scenario felt like it was “generated in a writers’ room and not in the real world,” he continues. “We pride ourselves on the show on being as authentic as possible… By not mentioning it at all, it felt like the least offensive way to deal with it,” which, the EP recognizes is “also not realistic.”
Seitzman reasons that “having someone say, ‘Christa moved on to blank, and Neal moved on to blank,'” felt too much like “blatant exposition” and “[not] the way people talk.”
Ultimately, he confesses, “We just never found a good way to address it.”
On the bright side, the ambiguity does leave the door open for Christa and Neal to find their way back to Angels Memorial. Seitzman would “love” for both of their portrayers to make a guest appearance at some point.
Although the actors were let go, “You have to remember these are friends of ours,” Seitzman sighs. “This is tough. Raza and I became good friends. We’re still good friends. He lives right up the street from me, and my wife and I have dinner with him and his wife. We have a personal relationship. That was the hardest phone call I ever made. It was awful for me. I hated making the phone call to Bonnie, too, but Raza and I are really tight.”
Code Black Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10/9c on CBS.