TNT has officially cancelled David E. Kelley/Sanjay Gupta’s Monday Mornings after one season. There was not much hope for the medical drama, which opened with an underwhelming 1.34 million viewers and ended its freshman run at the same level, with the finale drawing 1.37 million. But, like Kelley’s previous series, NBC’s Harry’s Law, Monday Morning quickly developed a small but devoted and passionate fan base. Monday Mornings, about the lives of a group of surgeons, starred Ving Rhames, Alfred Molina and Jennifer Finnigan. “(David E. Kelley, Bill D’Elia and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, on whose novel the series was based) crafted a unique and powerfully moving drama full of memorable situations and characters brought to life by a terrific ensemble cast,” TNT said in a statement. “Unfortunately the show never built its audience enough to warrant its continuation.”
It came from Ving Rhames on the final question from the panel for his new series, TNT‘s medical drama from David E. Kelley and Sanjay Gupta Monday Mornings, in which he plays a trauma surgeon. The question, addressed to him and neurosurgeon/CNN medical correspondent Gupta, on whose book the show is based, was whether trauma surgeons are different from other types of surgeons. Rhames took a different direction in his answer, giving thanks for his role, which got a little awkward toward the end. “One of the things I really love about this show is I think we just happen to be surgeons, but in reality deals with the human condition, the human experience, and for myself as an African American actor, it’s so well written and well rounded. We don’t get to see these type of images often as African American people, so I thank David E. Kelley, the writers, Sanjay Gupta. And I also thank, and I mean this in a respectful way, TNT for doing something on a level a bit above some of the Tyler Perry shows (which air on TNT sibling TBS). Thank you.”
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
At today’s TCA panel on TNT’s new medical drama series Monday Mornings, executive producer David E. Kelley (Chicago Hope, The Practice, Doogie Howser M.D.) admitted reservations about a taking on another medical show. But he said he went back into the operating room because of the participation of neurosurgeon and co-executive producer Sanjay Gupta. The series is based on the book by Gupta. The surgeon also serves as CNN chief medical correspondent.
Kelley said the book made him realize that the show, whose large ensemble cast includes Ving Rhames, Bill Irwin, Alfred Molina and Emily Swallow (on the panel,) could offer “fertile story-telling ground”, adding: It only came to fruition when Sanjay agreed to stay with it. The book is what made me want to do the series, but I wanted to keep the voice that came with us. He assured me he would not abandon us, and stay with us”.