The Resident ended its sixth season on a hopeful note. Conrad finally said “I love you” to Billie, and Devon popped the question to Leela. Bell also revealed he’s taking a leave of absence, while Ian was welcomed back to Chastain.
For The Resident executive producer Andrew Chapman, there is plenty of story left to tell with the beloved doctors at Chastain. The EP is hopeful that the FOX series will be picked up for season 7. He spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about what he knows regarding the show’s future and what would be in store next season.
The show has not picked up for season 7 yet. Did you write this family envisioning that it could be a series finale?
Andrew Chapman: We talked about this a lot because it’s exactly what you just said. We don’t know whether it will be a season finale or a series finale, so we tried to write an episode that could conceivably serve as both. We knew obviously that it was going to be a season finale, so we wanted to tie up anything that we felt was really thematically important for season 6. But given that the future is unknown, we also felt like this was a little bit of both. ways. It could act as a series finale if we had to have it. Obviously, we don’t want it to be that way. We don’t know. But it has the potential to work that way.
Have you heard anything? Is the prognosis good?
Andrew Chapman: We totally don’t know. The real truth is, I don’t think Fox knows. They’re waiting to see how their shows do. They’re waiting to see what the future looks like. I do not know. We won’t know until April or May.
There’s so much story to explore in another season. Bell is taking a leave of absence to participate in Devon’s MS trial. Would Bruce Greenwood conceivably be back full-time, just not in the operating room?
Andrew Chapman: No, I don’t think Bruce Greenwood would be back full-time. We’ve been talking to him, and there’s a lot of stuff going on in his life. He’s expressed his desires about how much he wants to work, so I think that he would come back part-time. We would weave him into the story. He’s one of the founding actors on the whole show. In a weird way, he’s the thematic spine of the show. It kind of follows his career. He starts as a guy who kills somebody in an appendectomy, and then by the end of the season he’s really redeemed himself. He’s redeemed himself to be somebody of real high character and morals and doing the right thing and really understands the mistakes he’s made. In a way, that tracks the show.
Do you see Andrew McCarthy fulfilling that Chastain patriarch role in the next season?
Andrew Chapman: You know, a little bit. I think that is kind of the idea. Amy Holden Jones, the creator of the show, and I really talked about this a lot. She loves Andrew and has had a relationship with Andrew McCarthy from previous shows and felt like this was a guy who could serve as a little bit of stepping into the shoes of Randolph Bell and who has his own demons and own issues. These are demons and issues that are so prevalent in the world of medicine today, so he kind of is a perfect avatar for what goes on in hospitals. Also, he’s just a spectacular actor. He has such a star presence in every scene he’s in. You just are like, wow, what’s he going to do next?
Devon proposes to Leela in the season 6 finale. We know The Resident loves a wedding. Would their wedding be in season 7?
Andrew Chapman: Absolutely. We totally want to have that happen. We feel like those two guys are the future: Devon and Leela. They’re such an interesting pair of doctors who will be married and are trying to just live their lives but also deal with the pressures and stresses of working in a hospital. We love a wedding, too. Who doesn’t?
Bell really passed the torch — or the stethoscope — to Leela at the end of the episode. What do you have planned for her as she steps out on her own as an attending?
Andrew Chapman: I think what’s interesting about the show is it’s called The Resident, right? It’s really about the path that doctors take from wide-eyed idealistic interns, and then residents just like Devon. And then they bump into all the stresses of modern American medicine, the modern American healthcare system, and all the pitfalls of that and the corruptions of that, the money, the time, and the pressure, and how you make these high stakes decisions. What we love about Leela is, again, she came in idealistic. When she first started, she was three hours early for her shift and everyone’s like, wow, you’re really taking it seriously. She has these issues with her sister, and she has issues with Billie, how she’s going to choose what kind of specialty. We really feel like she’s the perfect person to become an attending and to just explore all those issues of modern American medicine, and what it is to be a surgeon in the system. She’s ripe for the picking so to speak, right? She’s perfectly placed to weave story around her character.
On another romantic note, Conrad finally says “I love you” to Billie. What’s next for them in terms of their relationship and how they move forward?
Andrew Chapman: It’s unknown. Unclear. I think that we really wanted to see how they showed up on film. We really wanted to see the electricity between them, and we were more than pleasantly surprised. I mean, not surprised. We just felt like they were fantastic together, and they just seemed so natural. That was spectacular. So I think that we would just go to deepen that relationship, and potentially start a family. We don’t know. They have a natural chemistry, and it’s a natural chemistry that feels very warm and caring. Billie is someone who takes care and looks out for other people. She’s looking out for Gigi, and she’s looking for Conrad. Conrad, of course, has always been a guy who’s looking out for other people. That’s his whole MO, right? But the combination is just such a caring one so I think we would build from that.
With Billie being with Conrad, there’s the Gigi element. She’s not replacing Nic as Gigi’s mother, but it’s that weird limbo of what you are to this important person in your significant other’s life. It’s an interesting line to walk. Would you like to explore that in season 7?
Andrew Chapman: You really nailed it. That is very, very interesting and very modern. I feel like those relationships exist all around us all the time. I’m really glad you brought that up and sort of put your finger on it. It’s absolutely something that we are very, very interested in. Because the smashed together families, the fractured families who then are put together in weird ways is such an American modern thing. I find it fascinating.
Padma shows up at the very end and has a happy moment with Raptor, Leela, and the babies. Padma has struggled a lot this season, but she’s really come out on the other side. What would be coming up for Raptor and Padma as they navigate this new normal?
Andrew Chapman: That’s an interesting question. We considered having them maybe get together, which I think is a possibility. We considered having them not get together, which is also a possibility. Raptor is such a strong personality in the show. He’s such an iconic figure: the arrogant surgeon but spectacularly good, the boastful, full-of-himself doctor who also really cares about other people, and who has to draw the hard moral line. We love seeing him interact with Padma and the babies. We think that becoming a father really rounds out his character, but we also don’t want to lose that freewheeling, arrogant doctor who’s also the guy you want operating on you. He’s such a rich character, and we want to make sure that we preserve that. So I think we would explore the familial, but I don’t know that we would have it as front and center as we did in this last season.
There’s that Cade and Yamada scene at the end of the episode. Would you like to feature Yamada more in season 7?
Andrew Chapman: Ian Anthony Dale who plays James Yamada, we thought he was a complete natural. What was so interesting is that when we hired him, he wanted to know how much he was going to be in the show for the last couple of episodes. We said we weren’t sure. We would see what he looked like on screen. We wanted to play him as a little bit of a bad guy, but he’s so sympathetic, and he managed to turn all these slightly womanizing scenes into scenes with real warmth and affection. We just love him and his episode where he’s talking to Dr. Perry, who’s supposed to be a version of Bernard Lown, and was his mentor as a heart doctor, he was just fantastic. We would very much like him back as a cardiologist on the show. We just feel like his relationship with Cade is so interesting and modern and without any apologies, no regrets. We’re having a good time. That’s cool. Let’s see where it goes. We just find that great.
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