It’s hard to keep an Oscar winner eager to do television down.
Less than a month after NBC scrapped plans to reboot “Murder, She Wrote” with Octavia Spencer, the “Help” star has landed the lead in FOX’s hour-long genre hybrid “Red Band Society.”
“Red Band Society” is part of the adjacency to FOX’s “Pilot Season Is Dead” edict. Unlike “Last Man on Earth” and “Hieroglyph” and “Gotham,” “Red Band Society” wasn’t ordered straight-to-series. However, the Margaret Nagle-scripted project has a more-advanced-than-just-a-pilot order of a series prototype, plus additional scripts.
It helps that “Red Band Society” comes from Amblin Television (and ABC Studios) and boasts Steven Spielberg as an EP, along with Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Sergio Aguero.
Format-wise, the series is described as “a comedic one-hour, a hospital show, and a (surrogate) family drama.”
Spencer will play “Nurse Jackson,” described as “reeking of authority, no b.s., no first name.”
I’ve inquired about what the specific “reek of authority” smells like.
Nurse Jackson is a pediatrics ward nurse who represses her own emotions to put the focus on her young patients, for whom she has a great sympathy. In addition to the “no b.s.” thing, the official character description also says that Nurse Jackson “doesn’t put up with any crap from anyone.”
Since winning her Oscar for “The Help,” plus raves for “Fruitvale Station,” Spencer hasn’t shied from TV work. She hilariously played herself on an episode of “30 Rock” and she was really effective in a couple episodes of CBS’ “Mom.”