NBC’s new medical show sure to flat-line in ratings

Posted Sept. 27, 2009, at 5:02 p.m.

Enough with the earnest medical shows already!

The latest entry in this rapidly growing field is “Trauma,” debuting at 9 tonight on NBC.

Set in San Francisco, “Trauma” is about first-responder paramedics, who, frankly, were better served by the older NBC series “Third Watch.”

The series sets up with a horrific accident involving first responders. It then picks up a year later, examining the impact on those involved (hence the double meaning of the title).

Paramedic Nancy (Anastasia Griffith), who walked away from a career as a doctor, is struggling with the loss of her paramedic boyfriend. Rescue chopper pilot Rabbit (Cliff Curtis), returning to work that day, thinks he’s immortal. Paramedic Cameron (Derek Luke) has resorted to philandering to help him forget. There are a couple of other paramedics, but they don’t really register.

Walking into this trauma ward is rookie pilot Marisa (Aimee Garcia), just back from a stint in Iraq. Overseeing this crew is mentor Dr. Joe Saviano (Jamey Sheridan, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”).

“Trauma” offers the adrenaline-pumped medical action that viewers came to expect from “ER.” Too bad the characterization that show enjoyed is largely missing.

Peter Berg, who gave viewers the much more subtle “Friday Night Lights,” heads up a group of executive producers nearly as large as the cast, never a promising sign.

Up against “Dancing with the Stars,” “Gossip Girl,” “Lie to Me” and “Two and a Half Men-The Big Bang Theory,” “Trauma” will quickly get traumatized by the ratings.

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