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NBC’s new medical drama derailed by star’s joyous blessing

Melissa George

Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans. Unless you’re NBC, in which case making other plans is what you have to do because the star of one of your new fall shows has created life. NBC is pushing back the September premiere of its freshman medical drama Heartbreaker after learning its star, Melissa George, is pregnant with her second child. George stars as Dr. Alex Panttiere, a gifted cardiac surgeon who plays by her own rules and has a complicated romantic history with her rakish colleague (Dave Annable). That relationship makes it pretty difficult to write in a pregnancy, and because George appears in nearly every scene of Heartbreaker, putting her in extra-baggy scrubs and having Alex develop an unyielding malt liquor habit wasn’t an option either.

Variety reported that NBC’s programming executives were caught off-guard by George’s joyous blessing, presumably because they would not have made a big announcement touting the show at NBC’s upfront presentation had they known. No new premiere date has been announced for Heartbreaker, which is revamping its production schedule to accommodate George’s pregnancy. But the network is clearly excited about Heartbreaker, judging from its initial decision to put the show into the cushy time slot following The Voice’s results show. The slot will now be filled with Dick Wolf’s latest Windy City spinoff, Chicago Med, which was supposed to premiere at midseason. Wolf, who is almost back to having as many shows on the air as he did before The Great Law & Order Culling, is probably busy pitching in case anyone else decides to get pregnant: “What about Chicago Baristas? Their macchiatos keep us up at night, but what keeps them up at night? Seriously, just keep me in mind, I have a thousand of these.”


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