NY Med returns, depicting 2 contrasting ERs

Posted: June 26, 2014 at 2:12 a.m.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of the featured surgeons in a new season of NY Med. The series returns at 9 p.m. today on ABC.

It's a medical drama. It's reality TV. It's med-iality!

I just made that up.

Maybe it's a mediumentary.

Whatever you call it, NY Med returns with a new eight-part season at 9 p.m. today on ABC.

The documentary series from ABC News, two years in the making, won wide acclaim a couple of years ago when it profiled New York's Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center, both a part of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

This season the series is expanding its scope to two vastly different communities. The cameras will switch between the orderly operating rooms of Manhattan's New York-Presbyterian and the frequently hectic trauma wards of University Hospital in Newark, N.J.

It's in Newark, ABC News informs us, where "the ER is a doorway to the mean streets of one of America's most violent cities where skilled doctors gallantly struggle to treat a flood of gunshot, stabbing and life-threatening trauma cases."

Violent city? Newark ER doctors and nurses have seen almost 7,000 gunshot cases in the past decade.

Sample cases this season: An injured student pilot arrives after a plane crash that killed his instructor. A bleeding man arrives in the ER after being hit in the head with a hammer, and a couple terrorized and separated during a violent home invasion are reunited in an emotional scene in front of doctors.

Sometimes poignant and frequently funny, the series explores "high-stakes medicine" through the eyes of some colorful characters.

Viewers may recall the hilarious trio of ER nurses from the first season. They're back and again must cope with tricky personal crises while caring for some of the nation's most demanding patients.

Also returning is Debbie Yi, the ER resident who became a doctor after her sister fell in the subway and lost a leg.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon best known as the host of the syndicated health series The Dr. Oz Show, rounds out the cast using his surgical skills to fix damaged hearts.

In tonight's episode, Oz finds himself in a fight to save a young actor's life after a chance encounter in the ER evolves into a full-blown medical emergency.

"A medical crisis will bring most of us to the hospital at some point," says executive producer Terence Wrong. "Where we live can be destiny. NY Med offers a stark contrast between the patient populations of Manhattan and Newark, which play out for viewers as this series unfolds."

Model chat. Disney-ABC Domestic Television has announced that Tyra Banks, 40, host of the never-ending (if optimistically misnamed) America's Next Top Model, will host a new talk show next year chatting about fashion, entertainment and other lifestyle topics.

It will have a panel and be similar to The View and The Talk. Other panelists have not been named.

America's Next Top Model, by the way, kicks off its 21st (!) cycle at 8 p.m. Aug. 22 on The CW.

Grumpy Cat. If you are unaware of the global Internet sensation that is Grumpy Cat, go Google the kitty right now. We'll wait.

See what I mean? The little feline with the big blue eyes and sour puss is huge -- huge! She has millions of YouTube video hits, her own line of merchandise and a best-selling book.

And now Grumpy Cat will be the star of her very own Lifetime movie in December.

In real life, Grumpy is a two-year-old calico mix named Tardar Sauce who lives in Arizona. She'll star in the live-action film Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever and play a chronically overlooked pet store cat. There will be a 12-year-old girl (yet to be cast) who can communicate with her.

In reality, Grumpy isn't very. Why does she look that way? It's a combination of feline dwarfism and an underbite.

More horror. Michael Chiklis, the Emmy-winning star of The Shield, is joining the next installment of American Horror Story when it debuts in the fall.

The anthology series' fourth season is subtitled Freak Show and will find Chiklis playing the ex-husband of Kathy Bates and the father of Evan Peters.

Co-creator Ryan Murphy also announced that Horror Story staple Jessica Lange will be back and play a German expatriate in 1950s Florida who collects freaks for her freak show and "will do anything" to keep the cottage industry alive.

Anything? That's why it's titled American Horror Story.

Tut, Tut. Cable's Spike TV is planning a scripted six-hour "event" series next year about King Tut, Egypt's legendary boy pharaoh. Tut will dramatize the royal soap opera that surrounded the throne in 1333 B.C.

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Weekend on 06/26/2014