SPOILER ALERT! This story contains the final points of the series New Amsterdam.
Long overdue, The Good Doctors of New Amsterdam: A drama about an old general hospital from creator/executive producer David SchulnerDirector/Executive Producer Peter Horton and Universal Television ended its five-season run on NBC on Tuesday. Launched in 2018, the series is inspired by the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital By Eric Mannheimer.
Here, Schulner and Harden reflect on what the final episode did and didn’t do, and why they think it did. the way It’s too soon to end the acting drama Ryan EggoldJanet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, Tyler Labin, Debra Monk, Matthew Jeffers and Sandra Mae Frank.
Do you have a checklist going into the finale with things you want to include: deadline, chainsaw accident, etc.?
Peter Horton Yep, that was the whole premise of the episode. We thought chainsaw, what can we do with chainsaw?
David Schulner We only thought about our main cast. How do we honor those characters we’ve known and loved for five years?
Did you know how this was going to end from the start of Deadline? If you’ve been imagining this decision for a while, you might be thinking, ‘How can I help you?’
Schulner Good storytelling is what we know from the start that the conclusion should unfold. So we definitely went back to the pilot to find out where these characters started and what would be a satisfying and surprising ending.
DEADLINE Talked about killing Max (Eggold) for cancer for a while?
Schulner Felt a little easier. ER did it with Dr. Green. We have many programs ahead of us. We wanted to avoid any duplication.
Horton And then we can’t come back and do it again.
Deadline Was it challenging to figure out what your final medical case would be? Did you go before and after?
Horton Because every case in medical history has been exploited by TV shows, including us…
Schulner We were stuck all day. We couldn’t think of a perfect one. We butted our heads all day and finally I sent them all away. I’m like, ‘We’re going to leave Zoom, take an hour, take two hours, then everybody come into the room and pitch something, and you think there’s going to be a big final surgery.’ I came back with some weird, $5 million computer generated like laser beam surgery. We were all trying to find something big and crazy. Then it was our writer’s assistant, Jay, who stepped in to operate the 50-person operation. We knew right away that it was because it was about our characters. It’s not about a crazy operation. It’s about all the characters in our show for five years, 92 episodes. The surgery is a way to bring back all the characters who have ever had surgery in New Amsterdam for a unique surgery. It’s about the patient, but more importantly, it’s about our characters.
Horton Our covid team is not excited. Other than that, it’s a really cool idea. The show is basically a character. There are medical cases, so let’s talk about these people and themes. When you asked about the ending, one of the things I love about the way it came about is how David’s 11-year-old daughter gave it to him first, that Luna. [Max’s daughter] Coming back as an adult. So it’s a team effort.
Schulner A week later, another writer emailed me with the same conclusion. A week after that I was shooting Erica Green Swafford and she was like, ‘This is crazy, but what if this is the final scene of New Amsterdam and Luna comes back as an adult?’ So within three weeks three people had this collective vision.
Deadline, I expected the girl who couldn’t get into the drunken Iggy system to end up dead on a street somewhere.
Horton Well, one reason you might feel that way is because she’s a good actress. You should see her again. It’s just that she doesn’t really connect with our people. We really need a conclusion about the people we’ve lived with for five years. It’s not about our cases, it’s about our people.
Schulner In the final scene, it is clear that she is going to die in the street. We don’t have to see it.
You know, no matter the deadline, you want to finish it with some confidence?
Horton We had to leave people with the taste of hope in their mouths.
Deadline, can we assume Max and Elizabeth (Sandra Mae Frank) are staying together?
Schulner You have to decide that.
Timeline Do you think you have plenty of time to complete this as you would like?
Horton Not me. I still think this thing should have run two more years. There are so many more stories to tell and these characters are so interesting. David brought up a raft of wonderful characters and I wanted to know more about them all. We’re now number 3 on Netflix. I don’t think the audience is ready to finish it either.
Schulner And we are still number one in our time slot.
Horton Truth be told, why it was canceled remains a mystery.