The Resident will swap out a superbug for a global pandemic when it returns for Season 4, as the Fox series plans to write in the real-life coronavirus outbreak.
As series co-creator Amy Holden Jones revealed to Us Weekly, the medical drama will address the ongoing health crisis in its Season 4 opener.
“Our premiere deals with the early days of the outbreak, focusing on the effect on our hero doctors and nurses as they risk their lives daily,” Jones divulged. “Long-term, sadly, the after-effects of COVID-19 will go on, even after we have a vaccine, and we’ll be there to show that, as well.”
The Resident‘s writing team includes several medical professionals, two of whom — Daniela Lamas and Eric Lu — co-wrote the COVID-centric premiere. The show also employs an on-set nurse who has been volunteering in New York City and Texas during the pandemic.
“Their stories are moving, deep and tragic and continue to accumulate to this day,” Jones added. “We hope soon to share all we have learned.”
But it will be a while before any new Resident episodes air: As confirmed by Fox’s pandemic-proof fall schedule, all of the network’s returning scripted fare will be held until 2021 to accommodate delays in production.
The Resident is the second broadcast-TV medical drama to confirm it will incorporate the pandemic into its new season, following Grey’s Anatomy. Earlier this week, Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff said “there’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” hinting that Kevin McKidd’s Owen could play a major role in the coronavirus storyline.