The Bonds of Family, Love and Freedom are Tested in the New Season of "Mercy Street"

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16 January 2017
Mercy Street
Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nurse Mary Phinney / Courtesy of PBS/Erik Heinila
"Mercy Street"
Season Premiere Sunday, January 22 at 8 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
          “MERCY STREET”, the much-acclaimed Civil War-era drama set in the occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, will return to PBS stations for a second season on January 22 2017, at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Allegiances blur, loyalties shift and the drama intensifies as the scope of the war pushes beyond Mansion House, the former hotel commandeered by northern troops to serve as a Union hospital.

          Season Two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the first season finale, continuing to explore life in the chaotic city of Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning black population. The second season will introduce a number of new elements, taking the viewer closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.

          The new season also delves deeper into the lives of newly freed African Americans, exploringamong other areaslife in a contraband camp, where formerly enslaved African Americans are forced to confront horrific living conditions and disease, but also get a glimpse of freedom.
New actors and guest stars introduced in MERCY STREET Season Two include:
•  Patina Miller (Pippin, “Madam Secretary,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay − Parts 1 & 2) as Charlotte Jenkins, an educated contraband abolitionist activist who arrives in the first episode. A former slave who escaped to freedom years before through the Underground Railroad, Charlotte (a composite of numerous historical figures, most prominently Harriet Jacobs) offers education to other former slaves and helps with the sick who have contracted smallpox, which was epidemic during the Civil War.
•  Brían F. O’Byrne (“Mildred Pierce,” “Aquarius”) as Allan Pinkerton, head of the Union Intelligence Service. The character is based on the real Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish emigrant and abolitionist who founded America’s first detective agency and successfully brought down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals.
•  Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Heidi Chronicles) as Maj. Clayton McBurney III, the new hospital chief.
•  Lyne Renee (“Of Kings and Prophets,” “Strike Back,” The Hippopotamus) as Lisette Beaufort, a stylish and bold Parisian who has a past with Dr. Foster and creates a stir in the hospital when she accepts a commission with the Union Army in medical visual documentation.
•  Chris Wood (“The Carrie Diaries,” “Vampire Diaries”) as Captain Lance Van Der Berg, a handsome young Union captain lodging at the Green home when he strikes up a budding romance with Alice Green, who has ulterior motives for the courtship.
•  William Mark McCullough (“Underground”) as Larkin, a Confederate sympathizer in league with Jimmy Green, who helps formulate a plan to provide rebel fighters with munitions.
•  Nyambi Nyambi (“Mike & Molly”) as Caleb, a contraband who arrives at Mansion House Hospital searching for a particular woman.
The returning ensemble cast for Season Two of MERCY STREET includes:
•  Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“BrainDead,” 10 Cloverfield Lane, “The Returned,” The Spectacular Now) as nurse Mary Phinney, a feisty New Englander and widow who is a newcomer at Mansion House Hospital.
•  Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother,” Liberal Arts, Broadway’s Disgraced) as Dr. Jedediah Foster, the civilian contract surgeon who grew up in a privileged Southern slave-owning household as the son of a wealthy Maryland landowner.
•  Gary Cole (“Veep,” “The Good Wife,” “Entourage”) as James Green, Sr., patriarch of the Green family, struggling to maintain his family business while living in an occupied city.
•  Peter Gerety (Syriana, Charlie Wilson’s War, Flight, God’s Pocket, “The Wire,” “Prime Suspect”) as Dr. Alfred Summers, chief surgeon at Mansion House, who has risen to the rank of major by virtue of his age, not skill.
•  Hannah James as Emma Green, an entitled Southern young woman who volunteers as a nurse at Mansion House Hospital, the facility established on the site of her family’s luxury hotel.
•  Brad Koed as James Green, Jr., working alongside his father in the family businesses while he desperately wants to be on the front lines for the Confederate cause.
•  Norbert Leo Butz (“Bloodline”) as Dr. Byron Hale, an old-school army surgeon who lives life by the book. While Hale has an eye for the nurses, he has an ongoing relationship with Nurse Anne Hastings.
•  Tara Summers (“You’re the Worst,” “Rake,” “Boston Legal”) as nurse Anne Hastings, whose claim to fame is her experience working with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War.
•  McKinley Belcher III (“Show Me a Hero,” “Chicago PD”) as Samuel Diggs, a free black laborer harboring a secret knowledge of and ability in medicine, which he learned as a young servant.
•  Jack Falahee (“How to Get Away With Murder”) as Frank Stringfellow, a Confederate spy who is betrothed to Emma.
•  AnnaSophia Robb (“The Carrie Diaries,” The Way, Way Back, Bridge to Terabithia) as Alice Green, Emma’s younger sister who, initially frivolous and naive, becomes the most fervently committed member of her family.
•  Donna Murphy (“Resurrection,” “Hindsight,” Broadway’s Passion and The King and I) as Jane Green, wife of James Green, Sr.,and mother to three, the quintessential Southern matriarch.
•  L. Scott Caldwell (“Southland,” “Lost,” “ER,” The Fugitive) as Belinda, the Green family servant adjusting to life as a free woman.
•  Suzanne Bertish (“Rome”) as Hospital Matron Brannan, the formidable Irish head nurse who sees and knows all at Mansion House.
•  Luke Macfarlane (“Brothers and Sisters,” “Over There”) as Chaplain Hopkins, who, with a dark past, is newly committed to God and his work.
          “We continued to create MERCY STREET Season Two with an eye for dramatic and historic storytelling,” said co-creator and executive producer David Zabel. “That was our bread and butter in Season One and we pushed the envelope even further for this new season, and we can’t wait to see the reactions of our new and returning audiences.”
          “Season Two of MERCY STREET will connect viewers with familiar faces as well as introduce new characters. Their storylines will build upon one another through a constantly changing atmosphere,” said executive producer David W. Zucker. “We look forward to an exciting new season.”
          “The second season of MERCY STREET dives deeper into the historic time of the Civil War and weaves in romantic plotlines, medical advancements and battle scenes to get into the true essence of the period,” said co-creator and executive producer Lisa Q. Wolfinger. “We greatly value PBS stations for sharing this type of programming, and look forward to all that’s ahead for the series.”
          “We are excited for the return of MERCY STREET as it exemplifies the high-quality of programming we strive for on our PBS stations,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Officer and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “As we dive into new storylines, viewers will be captivated by the authentic historical and dramatic second season that we’re very proud to host on PBS.”

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