SF Needs America to Like "Trauma"

NBC spend $3 million per episode

By Lori Preuitt and Jessica Greene
|  Monday, Sep 28, 2009  |  Updated 1:02 PM PDT
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** FOR USE ONLY WITH LYNN ELBER'S STORY SLUGGED: TV NBC NEW SEASON ** In this TV publicity image released by NBC, actors, from left, Anastasia Griffith, Billy Lush , Cliff Curtis, Aimee Garcia, Kevin Rankin and Derek Luke are shown in character in the NBC series, "Trauma," about the heroics of San Francisco paramedics. (AP Photo/NBC, Mitchell Haaseth) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES, ARCHIVE OUT **

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For the first time since 2001, a television series shot here in the Bay Area will air on national television.

The drama series Trauma will premiere on NBC tonight.

It follows a group of first-response paramedics and has been described by some as "ER" on the streets. Some of the scenes are on the gory side -- in one episode, a jogger pushes a the eyeballs of a motorcyclist back into his sockets after they literally popped out.

The network is spending about $3 million an episode. If the ratings are good, that will turn into 22 episodes. That's a good chunk of change for a city hurting economically. The show has 150 full-time employees on its crew. Their pay, plus police overtime, city permits and the catering truck adds up quickly.

Production crews have used dozens of San Francisco locations as backdrops. The shoots included blowing up a truck on a King Street off-ramp and landing a chopper at a Union Square hotel.
 
"It's like making a huge action-packed production every day." Kevin Rankin, who also starred in "Friday Night Lights" said. "And working in the Bay Area has been amazing. Using the Bay Area as a character in the show and using that energy and the rawness of that vibe."

Rankin plays an EMT on the show. The pilot's cast also includes Derek Luke (“Notorious”), Cliff Curtis (“10,000 B.C”), Anastasia Griffith (“Damages”), Aimee Garcia (“George Lopez”) and Jamey Sheridan (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent).

The cast is said to be talking about giving up their rentals and instead buy homes or condos in the City.

San Francisco has served as the background for several popular television series, the most renowned being "Streets of San Francisco" and "Midnight Caller." The last TV series set in San Francisco was "Nash Bridges."
 

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