“The Resident” will be a few doctors short when the Fox medical drama debuts its fifth season this fall, following the surprise exit of leading lady Emily VanCamp, the earlier announced departure of Shaunette Renée Wilson, and reduction of appearances of Morris Chestnut, who is starring on new Fox series “Our Kind of People.”
But Michael Thorne, the president of entertainment at Fox Entertainment, says he’s not worried about the future of Chastain Memorial Hospital, despite the losses of Dr. Mina Okafor (Wilson) and VanCamp’s Nicolette “Nic” Nevins, who is the wife of protagonist Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and the mother of his baby girl, who was just born in the Season 4 finale last spring.
“We love the show. We can see it running for a very long time,” Thorn told TheWrap ahead of Fox’s day at the virtual Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday. “We believe that we have an incredibly strong ensemble with Matt [Czuchry] and Manish [Dayal] and Bruce [Greenwood] and Malcolm-Jamal [Warner] and Jane [Leeves]. And we have this deep bench of incredible characters and the actors that bring them to life.”
He continued: “And so, while losing Emily and Shaunette — who had an emotional resonance for our audience — it’s not the first time an ensemble drama has lost a character for whatever reason, but has continued to thrive for years to come. And we believe in the hands of this creative team, led by [co-creator] Amy Holden Jones, we will be in that kind of company.”
News that VanCamp would be leaving the series broke last week, with the decision being made when “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” actress decided to leave “The Resident” for a variety of personal reasons following ongoing discussions, but ultimately made when the scripts for Season 5 were just being broken.
Though Thorn couldn’t give away specifics about how VanCamp’s Nic will be written out of the series now that the writers have had time to work out the details, he did say it turned out even better than he could have imagined.
“As far as Emily’s departure, what I will say is the writers have something planned for the first several episodes of the season… it’s incredibly emotional and powerful,” Thorn said. “And we’re very pleased with how the creative team handled it. And I think the audience, ‘The Resident’ has a very passionate fan base. And I think the audience is really going to engage. It’s very emotional. And I’m looking forward to taking the beginning of the season, which is excellent so far, and sharing it with our audience.”
And based on the recent preview released, it seems that “emotional and powerful” storyline is going to hit Conrad pretty hard, as he answers the door to police while holding little Georgiana, his baby girl with Nic.
“The Resident” Season 5 premieres Sept. 21 at 8/7c on Fox.