In a press release today, PBS announced that it has given the greenlight to a second season of MERCY STREET, PBS’ first original drama in more than a decade. The first season, executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise); David W. Zucker (“The Good Wife” and “The Man in the High Castle”) of Scott Free; Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing, The untold story of the Mayflower”) and David Zabel (“ER”), drew 5.7 million viewers for the January 17 premiere.
Based on real events, MERCY STREET follows a diverse and colorful cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — and brings to life the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War.
Season two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the season one finale, continuing to explore the growing chaos within Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing predicament of the burgeoning black population. The season will introduce a number of new elements, taking us closer to the fight and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.
To ensure historical accuracy of the first season, the producers engaged a team of advisors headed by noted historian Dr. James M. McPherson and including leading experts on Civil War medicine, military history, African-American history, women in the Civil War era and more. The list of prominent historical advisors has been expended even further for the second season.
“We are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response to MERCY STREET and the return of high-quality American drama on PBS stations,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Officer and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “We’re looking forward to a second season offering more fascinating stories inspired by historical events. The effort from everyone involved, including the producers, directors, historical consultants, actors and PBS stations, resulted in an extraordinary series that exemplifies PBS’ world-class programming.”