October 30, 2013

Getting On, from the Creators of Big Love, Takes an Offbeat Look at the Dysfunctional Staff of a Beleaguered Hospital

Comedy Series Debuts Nov 24, Exclusively on HBO

New York, NY – At the Billy Barnes Extended Care unit of Mt. Palms Hospital in Long Beach, Cal., the staff attends to the needs of their female patients who are often “getting on” in years, as they deal with the challenges of a health-care bureaucracy in need of an overhaul. Even as they attempt to serve their charges under less-than-ideal circumstances, this ragtag crew’s lives are complicated by conflicting agendas, both professional and personal.

This new original comedy series GETTING ON, based on the BBC series of the same name, begins its first six-episode season SUNDAY, NOV. 24 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT**).  Created for American Television by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer (co-creators of the acclaimed HBO series “Big Love”), the show follows the daily lives of overworked nurses and doctors as they struggle with the darkly comic realities of tending compassionately to their aging charges in a rundown, red-tape-filled hospital extended-care wing, blending outrageous humor with unexpected moments of tenderness.

Cast regulars on GETTING ON include Laurie Metcalf (three Emmys® for “Roseanne”) as Dr. Jenna James, who once hoped to become a medical-research star but has been, instead, sentenced to purgatory at this facility; Alex Borstein (“Family Guy”)

as Nurse Dawn, whose personal shortcomings and obsession with finding a boyfriend undermine her need to achieve at her job; Niecy Nash (“Reno 911!”) as Nurse DiDi,

whose easy rapport with patients should be an example to her superiors, but isn’t; and Mel Rodriguez (“Community”) as Patsy De La Serda, a reform-minded supervising nurse of ambiguous sexuality. Guest stars include Molly Shannon, Daniel Stern, Harry Dean Stanton, June Squibb and Irma P. Hall.

Upcoming episodes:
Episode #1: “Born on the Fourth of July”

Debut: SUNDAY, NOV. 24 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 24 (midnight), 25 (11:30 p.m.), 27 (midnight), 28 (8:00    p.m.) and 29 (10:30 p.m.), and Dec. 1 (6:15 p.m.), 6 (10:00 p.m.) and 11 (11:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 25 (10:30 p.m.) and 30 (9:00 p.m.), and Dec. 1 (8:10 a.m.)

It’s July 4th at the Billy Barnes Extended Care unit of Mt. Palms Hospital.  On her first day of work, Nurse DiDi Ortley (Niecy Nash) discovers feces on a lounge chair, and is torn between the conflicting orders of veteran nurse Dawn Forchette (Alex Borstein), who wants to file an “incident report” before removing it; temporary medical director Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf), who is in need of a stool sample for her medical study; and supervising nurse Beverly Raymes (Telma Hopkins), who has had endemic issues with floor cleanliness and wants the seat sterilized.  In a heated argument with Nurse Raymes, Dr. James has a public meltdown and ends up permanently assigned to this dead-end job.  Meanwhile, the staff tries to determine the identity of an Asian woman who was found wandering on a highway, and debate what to do with a deceased patient’s birthday cake.

Teleplay by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer; directed by Miguel Arteta.

Episode #2:  “If You’re Going to San Francisco”

Debut: SUNDAY, DEC. 1 (10:00-10:30 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates:  Dec. 1 (midnight), 2 (11:55 p.m.). 4 (midnight), 5 (8:00 p.m.), 6 (10:30 p.m.) and 11 (11:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Dec. 2 (9:30 p.m.), 7 (9:00 p.m.) and 8 (9:05 a.m.)

In the wake of Beverly’s departure, a new (male) Supervising Nurse, Patsy De La Serda (Mel Rodriguez), joins the Billy Barnes staff with a customer-centric, “cruise-line based” agenda that he’s convinced will improve ward ratings.  Patsy soon learns that managing patients – especially highly uncooperative and feisty ones like Varla (June Squibb) – isn’t necessarily improved through customer-service metrics.  On the other hand, a more docile patient named Donna wins DiDi’s affections and displays impressive karaoke skills.

Teleplay by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer; Directed by Howard Deutch.

Episode #3:  “Make Someone Happy”

Debut:  SUNDAY, DEC. 8 (10:00-10:30 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates:  Dec. 8 (midnight), 9 (10:30 p.m.). 11 (midnight), 12 (8:00 p.m.) and 13 (10:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates:  Dec. 9 (9:30 p.m.), 14 (9:00 p.m.) and 15 (9:30 a.m.)

DiDi ends up in “conflict resolution” after Patsy files a grievance against her for inappropriate remarks.  Dawn learns that intimacy with a co-worker is no guarantee of evaluation immunity.  Dr. James and Patsy go head-to-head when she decides to skip the “Make Someone Happy” orientation to attend a Cleveland medical convention.  A patient, Birdy, sends shock waves through the ward when her gentleman caller, Leonard, and she are caught in a romantic agenda.  Patsy’s announces a ward-wide deep cleaning.

Teleplay by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer; Directed by Howard Deutch.

For more on the series, visit and #GettingOn.

GETTING ON is executive produced by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer under their Anima Sola Productions Banner; Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner of BBC Worldwide Productions and Geoff Atkinson, Jo Brand, Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine; co-executive producers, Lisa Bellomo and Courtney Conte; Producer, Chrisann Verges.