Are you ready for this?! It's going to be awesome!
PBS announced today that How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor, along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Thing) will be jumping on board the network's newest series.
[ Related: Downtown Abbey Really, Truly Ending After 6 Seasons ]
According to reports, Mercy Street will be set in Virginia during the Civil War and it's based on real memoirs from hospital workers from the era. It will follow the characters, Mary Phinney, played by Winstead, and Emma Green, played by first timer Hannah James, who work together at a Union Army Hospital, Mansion Hospital.
Of course these two women have very different moral viewpoints — otherwise there'd be no DRAMA, DUH — as Mary is an abolitionist and Emma is a good ol' confederate girl.
Oh! It just so happens that this hospital was a converted from a hotel owned by Miss Green's family… do I smell some self-entitlement brewing!? Radnor gets thrown into the mix playing Jedediah Foster, a surgeon who's the son of a wealthy slave-owner from Maryland.
Radnor and Winstead will be rounding out the ensemble period piece with the already cast Gary Cole (Office Space, Veep), Peter Gerety (Inside Man, The Wire), Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline), and McKinley Belcher III (Madame Secretary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) among several others.
This is a HUGE step for PBS as it is the first American drama to be ordered by the network in over a decade! It's set to air sometime during the winter of 2016 during PBS's Sunday night lineup along with the final Season of Downton Abbey, something they're obviously trying to replicate with Mercy Street.
Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager explained to Deadline that:
"There's no question this is a big swing for the fences… [the cast of Mercy Street is] an interesting mix that provides us with the opportunity, I hope, to create the ensemble magic that we achieve with Downton. That's hard to do; it's lightning in a bottle."
Magic indeed! Do you think this will fill your Downton void or is it going to be a cheap replacement? Downton is definitely something special, but we'll tune in and keep you posted on more of this (hopefully) scandalous Civil War piece!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: civil war, downton abbey, josh radnor, mary elizabeth winstead, mercy street, pbs, tv news