EXCLUSIVE: Alfred Molina is set to star in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. It uses as a backdrop the hospital’s Monday Morbidity and Mortality conference, considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine, where doctors gather for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. Molina will play Dr. Harding Hooten, the steely-eyed Chief of Surgery at Chelsea General, known for his punishing and outwardly-uncaring ways. He heads up a weekly meeting in which doctors are lauded for their good work, or criticized (even fired) for their mistakes. Also cast in the pilot is Bill Irwin (CSI) as Dr. Buck Tierney, a smug doctor who takes himself very seriously and rubs his colleagues the wrong way. Molina and Irwin join previously cast Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan. This marks a reunion for Molina and Kelley — Molina recently did an arc on Kelley’s NBC legal dramedy Harry’s Law. He also toplined NBC’s spinoff series Law & Order: LA last season. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing Chelsea General; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct the pilot.
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