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Patients
Genre Drama
Created by Ifan Barber
Starring Richard Madden
Opening Theme I'm A Survivor (Instrumental) - Destiny's Child
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Country Of Origin USA
Number Of Episodes 268
Running Time 42 minutes
Original Channel: NBC
Original Air Date September 19th 2017 - May 23rd 2030
Produced by Ifan Barber

Dan Fogelman

Brad Pitt

Oprah Winfrey

Ellen DeGeneres

Drew Barrymore

Directed by Various
Patients is an American drama series created by Ifan Barber that premiered on September 19th 2017. It features an ensemble cast led by Richard Madden as therapist Josh Woodbury. It follows a therapy group consisting of cancer survivors and their families as they deal with life after, and sometimes during the return of, the illness.

Plot

At a community centre in suburban Philadelphia, Josh Woodbury forms a cancer support group after losing his mother to breast cancer months earlier. The group becomes popular and Josh, a professional therapist, becomes the natural leader of the group. They each become involved in each other's lives and support each other through life's trials and tribulations, including the return of cancer to some members.

Production

After the huge commercial and critical success of This is Us the previous season, NBC pitched a similar project to Ifan Barber. Ifan returned with a script, and brought Plan B Entertainment, with Brad Pitt, and Flower Films, with Drew Barrymore, on board to produce alongside This is Us' Dan Fogelman and OWN's Oprah Winfrey as well as Ellen DeGeneres.

NBC greenlit the series for 15 episodes, and made a back-order of 8 additional episodes on September 20th 2017 after the initial critical acclaim of the premiere episode. After 6 episodes, NBC officially ordered a second and third season of 22 episodes. During the back half of season 3, the show was renewed through to its sixth season. Midway through season 4, NBC ordered an additional 2 seasons, bringing the total to eight.

As season 8 of Patients came to a close, rumours surfaced that NBC were considering cancelling the series or moving it to sister network USA. However, NBC counteracted the claims by renewing the show for a 22-episode 9th season. Midway through season 9, Ifan Barber signed a three-year contract with NBC, renewing Patients through to its 12th season.

After the conclusion of season 11 in spring 2029, it was officially announced by Ifan Barber that they would not be seeking further renewal, and season 12 would be the show's last. Patients ended on May 23rd 2030 with a two hour finale, followed by a retrospective documentary special with the cast and crew.

Episodes

Season 1

After the death of his mother, Josh Woodbury, with the help of his girlfriend Kim, set up a Cancer Support Group in their local suburban community centre. The first season follows Josh's relationship with Kim and key members of the support group - Kathy, Roger, Alice, Maddie, Michelle and Jason.

Kathy is a 50-something single mom of a 17 year old, Max. She's a survivor of breast cancer and after going to several meetings, she pursues a relationship with Roger, much to Max's dismay. Max is still struggling after his father, and Kathy's ex-husband, John abandoned them 3 years previously after Kathy's diagnosis. Kathy's sister arrives midway through the season with news that shes getting married, and Kathy is shocked when the groom is revealed as John's brother.

Roger is in his late 40s and is a survivor of testicular cancer. He's close with his sister Anna, who approves of his relationship with Kathy. He also strikes up a friendship with Josh and Jason. After attending the meetings for six months, he has another cancer scare, but doesn't tell anyone about it.

Jason is in his late 20s and a survivor of leukemia in his teens, he was a college friend of Jason's and is now training as a lawyer. He also befriends Roger. After one session, Jason walks in on Kim having sex with Josh's half-brother, Luke. He struggles with the secret and he confronts Kim about it, causing strain on his friendship.

Alice is in her 90s and has terminal lung cancer, a widow, she attends the group for company and is embraced by the group. She becomes a motherly figure to Maddie and Michelle, and they eventually have her move in with them. Alice serves as a hub of advice to the group and supports Kathy during her depression, and Jason during his struggle with the secret.

Maddie and Michelle are best friends who met during chemotherapy, both in their mid-thirties, they live together and later with Alice too. They are both bubbly and serve as the group's comic relief. Towards the end of season 1, Michelle contemplates relocating to London after a key job opportunity crops up.

Season 1 culminates with Kim's affair with Luke being exposed, Roger opening up about his cancer diagnosis, John arriving on Kathy's doorstep and Michelle boarding a plane to London. Other storylines include Jason and Josh reuniting and Alice's health taking a turn for the better.

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

Season 12

Spin-off

Prior to the premiere of season 5, NBC confirmed that a companion series, 'Doctors', featuring the medical staff at 'Patients' hospital, St. Andrew's. Mark Harmon, of NCIS, was cast as the lead, Dr. Matthew Tennison. It premiered mid-season on January 13th 2023 and ran for 8 seasons.

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