Jul 09 2014

TV News: The Knick Premieres August 8, Exclusively on Cinemax


The Knick logoChallenging medical procedures, a racially charged city, no antibiotics to speak of, and a doctor with an expensive drug habit. What do you have? The Knickerbocker Hospital, aka The Knick, a medical facility in 1900s New York that struggles to stay open while treating some of the richest patients around. Created by Executive Producers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, and directed by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Steven Soderbergh, the new ten-part series premieres Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:00 pm ET/PT, exclusively on Cinemax. Also executive producing are Gregory Jacobs, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar, and Clive Owen.

The series stars Oscar® nominee Clive Owen, André Holland, Jeremy Bobb, Juliet Rylance, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Grainger Hines, Leon Addison Brown, and Matt Frewer.

Below is a synopsis of The Knick, as well as character and episodic descriptions, and other pertinent details.


            New York City, 1900: The Knickerbocker Hospital is home to groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the boundaries of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. The newly appointed leader of the surgery staff is the brilliant, arrogant renegade Dr. John Thackery, whose addiction to cocaine and opium is trumped only by his ambition for medical discovery and renown among his peers.

Into the all-white staff and patient hospital comes the equally gifted Harvard  graduate Dr. Algernon Edwards, who must fight for respect while trying to navigate the racially charged city.

Trying to maintain its reputation for quality care while realizing a profit, the Knickerbocker makes an effort to attract wealthy clientele, while literally struggling to keep the lights on.

Clive Owen in The Knick

Clive Owen in The Knick

Starring Clive Owen (“Children of Men,” HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn”; Oscar® nominee for “Closer”) and directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Side Effects”; Oscar® winner for “Traffic”; Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”), THE KNICK kicks off its ten-episode season FRIDAY, AUG. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on CINEMAX, followed by other episodes debuting subsequent Fridays at the same time.

Gregory Jacobs (“Behind the Candelabra”), Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar (“Rendition”) and Clive Owen executive produce. The writing team of Jack Amiel & Michael Begler (“Raising Helen,” “Big Miracle”) writes and executive produces. Michael Polaire (“Behind the Candelabra”) produces. Steven Katz is the writer of episodes five and nine and is supervising producer. The production designer is Emmy®-winner Howard Cummings (“Behind the Candelabra”); the costume designer is Emmy®-winner Ellen Mirojnick (“Behind the Candelabra”); and the casting director is Emmy®-winner Carmen Cuba (“Behind the Candelabra”).

In addition to Owen, the ensemble cast includes André Holland (“42”), Jeremy Bobb (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Juliet Rylance (“Frances Ha”), Eve Hewson (“Enough Said”), Michael Angarano (“Empire State”), Chris Sullivan (HBO’s “The Normal Heart”), Cara Seymour (“An Education”), Eric Johnson (“Rookie Blues”), David Fierro (“Birdman”), Maya Kazan (“Frances Ha”), Grainger Hines (“Lincoln”), Leon Addison Brown (“Mo’ Better Blues”) and Matt Frewer (“Max Headroom”).


Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) is an arrogant, self-absorbed, yet brilliant surgeon who burns the candle at both ends, but manages to shine in the surgical theatre.

Dr. Algernon Edwards (André Holland) is a gifted, Harvard-trained surgeon – the only black member of his graduating class – whose determination to be recognized for his abilities in the face of racial prejudice is coupled with his desire to learn everything he can from the openly dismissive Dr. Thackery.

Herman Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) is an obsequious and deceptively greedy hospital administrator who robs Peter to pay Paul in order to keep the Knickerbocker, and himself, afloat.

Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) not only serves as head of the hospital’s social welfare office, but also chairs the hospital’s board of trustees as proxy for her father, shipping tycoon Captain August Robertson (Grainger Hines).

Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson) is a naïve young nurse from West Virginia who has come to New York for adventure, and finds more than she ever imagined at the Knick.

Dr. Bertram “Bertie” Chickering, Jr. (Michael Angarano) is an eager surgeon-in-training who comes to the Knick for the romance and excitement of learning from a groundbreaking surgeon.

Tom Cleary (Chris Sullivan) is the crude, jovial Irish ambulance driver who gets kickbacks for funneling rich patients to the Knick and takes great delight in harassing those who stand in his path.

Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) is an Irish Catholic nun who runs the orphanage affiliated with the Knick. Her equanimity masks a secret life that will come to haunt her.

Dr. Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson) is an aspiring surgeon on Thackery’s staff whose hopes of being named assistant chief surgeon are dashed when an outsider is appointed to the position.

Jacob Speight (David Fierro) is a health department inspector who exploits the perks of his position, demanding a finder’s fee for every patient he brings to the Knick.

Eleanor Gallinger (Maya Kazan), a new mother and Everett Gallinger’s devoted wife, is eager to see her husband succeed at the Knick.

Dr. J.M. Christiansen (Matt Frewer) is the Knick’s dedicated chief of surgery, for whom failure is not an option.


August’s episodes:

Episode #1: “Method and Madness”

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other CINEMAX playdates: Aug. 8 (11:00 p.m., midnight, 2:30 a.m.), 9 (9:00 p.m., 12:05 a.m.), 10 (12:15 p.m.), 11 (8:00 p.m., 12:45 a.m.), 12 (10:00 p.m.), 13 (9:00 p.m.), 20 (8:00 p.m.), 27 (7:00 p.m.), 29 (8:00 p.m.) and 31 (2:30 p.m.)

In 1900, John W. Thackery (Clive Owen), a brilliant yet tortured doctor working at the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York, ascends to the role of chief surgeon after the unexpected departure of his mentor, J.M. Christiansen (Matt Frewer). Though Thackery wants Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson), his own protégé, to take over the assistant chief position, Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance), daughter of the hospital’s major benefactor, insists he hire Algernon Edwards (André Holland), a talented black doctor who trained in London and Paris. Edwards encounters enmity and resentment on his first day at the Knick, but his desire to remain prevails after joining Thackery, Gallinger, Dr. Bertram “Bertie” Chickering, Jr. (Michael Angarano) and Nurse Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson) in the operating theater for a daring surgical procedure.

Written by Jack Amiel & Michael Begler; directed by Steven Soderbergh.


Episode #2: “Mr. Paris Shoes”

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Other CINEMAX playdates: Aug. 15 (11:00 p.m., 1:15 a.m.), 16 (9:00 p.m., midnight), 17 (12:50 p.m.), 18 (8:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 19 (10:00 p.m.), 20 (9:00 p.m.), 27 (8:00 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m.) and 31 (3:30 p.m.)

Already fuming over the hospital’s faulty new electrical system, Thackery tasks Herman Barrow (Jeremy Bobb), the Knick’s crooked superintendent, to deliver more cadavers so that he and his team can test out novel surgical procedures. With more patients dying, Edwards offers to share a procedure he learned in France, but is rebuffed by Thackery and Gallinger. Robertson addresses a typhoid-fever outbreak; Elkins is taken into Thackery’s confidence; Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) breaks a taboo. Edwards finds an alternative way to perform his duties.

Written by Jack Amiel & Michael Begler; directed by Steven Soderbergh.


Episode #3: “The Busy Flea”

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Other CINEMAX playdates: Aug. 22 (11:00 p.m., 1:40 a.m.), 23 (9:00 p.m., 12:10 a.m.), 24 (2:40 p.m.), 25 (8:00 p.m., 1:40 a.m.), 26 (10:00 p.m.), 27 (8:50 p.m.), 29 (9:50 p.m.) and 31 (4:20 p.m.)

Thackery weighs performing surgery on a former flame, and orders Gallinger and Chickering to experiment on pigs. Barrow goes to extremes in order to pay off a debt and recover a missing tooth. After a bad day at work, Edwards takes out his frustrations at a local bar. Robertson is relieved when her pleas about treating a patient with typhoid fever are finally heard.

Written by Jack Amiel & Michael Begler; directed by Steven Soderbergh.


New York circa 1900 was recreated in and around Brooklyn and in downtown Manhattan by production designer Howard Cummings. Interiors for the Knickerbocker Hospital, along with additional sets, were filmed at the Cine Magic East River Studio soundstages. The period wardrobe for the cast and the extras was created by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.

Dr. Stanley Burns, archivist of the world’s greatest collection of early medical photography, served as the historical technical medical adviser on the series, working closely with production and the actors to make the hospital scenes realistic and authentic to the times.

Source: Cinemax, a division of Home Box Office, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. 

Photos © 2014 Cinemax. All Rights Reserved.




Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!

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