Code Black (TV series)

Code Black is an American medical drama television series created by Michael Seitzman that premiered on CBS on September 30, 2015.[1] It takes place in an overcrowded and understaffed emergency room in Los Angeles, California, and is based on a documentary by Ryan McGarry. On May 16, 2016, the show was renewed for a 13-episode second season, which premiered on September 28, 2016.[2] On November 14, 2016, CBS added three more episodes, to bring the season two total to 16.[3]

Code Black
GenreMedical drama
Created byMichael Seitzman
Composer(s)Clinton Shorter
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes47 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Scott Printz
  • Steve Sassen
Running time40–44 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Original networkCBS
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 30, 2015 (2015-09-30) 
July 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)
External links

On May 14, 2017, the series was renewed for a third season, which premiered on April 25, 2018.[4][5] On May 24, 2018, CBS cancelled the series after three seasons. The series finale aired on July 18, 2018.[6]


The show centers on the fictional Angels Memorial Hospital, where four first-year residents and their colleagues must tend to patients in an understaffed, busy emergency room that lacks sufficient resources.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
118September 30, 2015 (2015-09-30)February 24, 2016 (2016-02-24)
216September 28, 2016 (2016-09-28)February 8, 2017 (2017-02-08)
313April 25, 2018 (2018-04-25)July 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)

Cast and characters


  • Marcia Gay Harden as Dr. Leanne Rorish, an ER attending physician, known to current and former resident doctors as "Daddy". Her husband and two children were killed after their car was hit by a drunk driver; this sometimes influences her medical decisions. Originally the ER's Residency Director, Leanne is promoted to Director of Emergency Medicine following the death of Gina Perello. She is replaced in this position by Dr Campbell in "Second Year". In "Fallen Angels", Leanne is shown to have taken guardianship of a young orphan.
  • Raza Jaffrey as Dr. Neal Hudson, an ER attending physician. A British-Indian former surgeon, his approach is quieter and more people-oriented. He connected with Christa during her first year of residency. In "Hail Mary", Hudson becomes a surgical attending, and is once again assigned to the ER (season 1).[7]
  • Bonnie Somerville as Dr. Christa Lorenson, a mature first-year resident. She was married with a son who died of brain cancer. Her experience and her divorce inspired her to attend medical school (season 1).[7]
  • Melanie Chandra as Dr. Malaya Pineda, a second-year resident. She went to medical school and did her internship at Angels Memorial, and is more familiar with the ER. She is a lesbian, who was once involved with a resident when she was a medical student (seasons 1–2).
  • William Allen Young as Dr. Rollie Guthrie, an ER attending physician with a very nurturing style; he takes Angus under his wing in his first days in the ER. Guthrie's wife committed suicide, a death that strained his relationship with his son, a surgeon. He had a daughter who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while Guthrie tried to save his son from a similar death. During season 2, Guthrie is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and undergoes corrective neurological surgery to delay the onset of symptoms.
  • Harry Ford as Dr. Angus Leighton, a third-year resident. His father is on the hospital board. He feels overshadowed by that and by the achievements of his older brother, a former resident, but slowly grows in confidence.
  • Benjamin Hollingsworth as Dr. Mario Savetti, a third-year resident. He grew up poor and sees emergency medicine as his way out. He worked as a bartender before medical school.
  • Luis Guzmán as Jesse Salander, known as "Mama". A senior nurse who manages the residents, Jesse is tough on the outside but caring and supportive of the students. He and Dr. Rorish have a long-term, close friendship.
  • Boris Kodjoe as Dr. Will Campbell, Chief of Surgery. A highly regarded surgeon, he is assigned as the new Chief of the ER in season 2 in order to save costs, causing strife between him and Rorish. Campbell has a disabled daughter (season 2–3; recurring in season 1).
  • Jillian Murray as Dr. Heather Pinkney, a surgical resident who becomes involved with Mario. He quickly ends it when he hears about her side relationship with Dr. Campbell. She gets in further trouble when it's revealed she's providing Angus with drugs. When confronted by Campbell, she threatens to turn their past relationship into a sexual harassment case. While treating a patient with unknown deadly virus, she's bitten by the patient and succumbs to the illness (season 2; recurring in season 1).
  • Rob Lowe as Dr. Ethan Willis, an Army Medical Corps colonel attached to the prestigious Combat Casualty Care research program. He joins the ER staff at Angels Memorial for the remainder of his service contract after the Army pulls him from the battlefield in Afghanistan. Willis brings with him revolutionary military medical techniques, and builds a strong friendship with Dr. Rorish (seasons 2–3).
  • Noah Gray-Cabey as Elliot Dixon, a second-year resident in the ER (season 3; recurring season 2).
  • Emily Tyra as Noa Kean, an ER resident who embarks upon a relationship with Mario (season 3; recurring season 2)
  • Emily Alyn Lind as Ariel Braeden (season 3; guest seasons 1–2)
  • Moon Bloodgood as Rox Valenzuela, a Los Angeles Fire Department paramedic. Rox is Ethan's ride-along partner (season 3).[8]


  • Angela Relucio as Risa Park R.N., a nurse in the Emergency Department.
  • Ellia English as Isabel Mendez R.N., a nurse in the Emergency Department.
  • Emily Nelson as Hannah Reynolds R.N., a nurse in the Emergency Department.
  • Tommy Dewey as Dr. Mike Leighton, Angus' older brother, and a recently hired ER attending physician. He becomes the Director of the Residency Program following Rorish's promotion (seasons 1–2).
  • Cress Williams as Dr. Cole Guthrie, a surgeon and Rollie's son. His relationship with his father is strained by his mother's suicide (seasons 1–2).

Season 1

  • Jeff Hephner as Dr. Ed Harbert, Angels Memorial Hospital CEO and Gina's boyfriend. He and Rorish clash frequently, but their mutual respect is obvious.
  • Kevin Dunn as Dr. Mark Taylor, the Director of the Emergency Department at Angels Memorial, who is on leave during an investigation into potential mismanagement.
  • Shiri Appleby as Dr. Carla Niven, a former resident at Angels Memorial and Malaya's ex-girlfriend. She is diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant, and dies shortly after delivering the baby.
  • Christina Vidal as Dr. Gina Perello, the replacement Director of the Emergency Department at Angels Memorial, who takes over when Dr. Taylor is put on leave. She was murdered by Malaya's stalker.
  • Gabrielle Carteris as Amy Wolowitz, R.N., a nurse in the Emergency Department.
  • Meagan Good as Dr. Grace Adams, Neal's ex-girlfriend.

Season 2

  • Nafessa Williams as Charlotte Piel, a new first-year resident in the ER who was a popular teenaged actress. She was shot and killed in the waiting room while treating patients.
  • Kathleen Rose Perkins as Dr. Amanda Nolan, a psychiatrist at the hospital.

Season 3

  • Tyler Perez as Diego Avila, son of a hospital board member and a first-year resident. He drives the staff and patients crazy by filming them to make a documentary about the Angels ER.
  • Alex Lange as Max, a young cancer patient with whom Ariel strikes up a friendship, which turns into young love. He died minutes before he was supposed to receive a transplant.


On January 27, 2015, the show's pilot episode was greenlighted by CBS.[9] On June 4, Brett Mahoney was appointed as executive producer for Code Black.[10]

On October 23, 2015, CBS ordered six new scripts for Code Black.[11] The following month, CBS ordered five additional episodes.[12] CBS renewed the show for a second season in May 2016.[2]


On February 17, 2015, Marcia Gay Harden was cast as Christa, a soccer mom who lost her son to cancer.[13] On February 23, Melanie Chandra was cast as Malaya, a doctor beginning her residency.[14] Maggie Grace was cast as Dr. Leanne Rorish, the lead of the show, the following day.[15] On March 3, Luis Guzman was set to star as Jose Santiago, a senior nurse.[16] The character's name was later changed to Jesse Salander. The following day, Raza Jaffrey was cast as Neal,[17] and Ben Hollingsworth was set to star as Mario, a new resident.[18] When Grace left the show before filming began,[19] the role of Leanne was then given to Harden,[20] and Bonnie Somerville was cast in Harden's role as Christa.[20]

At the end of season 1, Somerville and Jaffrey departed the main cast, and recurring actors Jillian Murray and Boris Kodjoe joined the main cast, reprising their roles of Dr. Heather Pickney and Dr. Will Campbell respectively.[21] Rob Lowe also joined the main cast as Colonel Ethan Willis, a Combat Casualty Care doctor assigned to Angels as part of a U.S. Army training program.[22] In 2017, Moon Bloodgood was cast in the recurring role of paramedic Rox Valenzuela for the series' third season, and was subsequently promoted to series regular as of the third season's fourth episode.[8] Bloodgood's casting followed the departures of both Chandra[23] and Murray.[24] Former recurring actors Emily Alyn Lind, Noah Gray-Cabey and Emily Tyra were also promoted to the main cast for the third season.[25][26]

International broadcast

In the UK the show is shown on W! with Season 3 premiering in late May 2018.[27]


Code Black has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the series has a rating of 54%, based on 39 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "While not reinventing the stethoscope, Code Black is an above-average medical drama, with appropriately theatrical storylines that make up for sometimes cheesy dialogue."[28] On Metacritic, the series has a score of 53 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]

At the 2016 Monte-Carlo Television Festival, Harden won the Best Actress in a TV Series Golden Nymph Award,[30] while Code Black was nominated for Best TV Series Drama.[31]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes Premiered Ended TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions,
including DVR)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
1 Wednesday 10:00 pm 18 September 30, 2015 (2015-09-30) 8.58[32] February 24, 2016 (2016-02-24) 6.91[33] 2015–16 34 10.17[34]
2 16 September 28, 2016 (2016-09-28) 6.37[35] February 8, 2017 (2017-02-08) 6.07[36] 2016–17 31 9.23[37]
3 13 April 25, 2018 5.64[38] July 18, 2018 5.37[39] 2017–18 60 6.93[40]


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (May 13, 2015). "CBS Fall 2015 Schedule: 'Supergirl' Opens Monday, 'Life In Pieces' Follows 'Big Bang'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  2. Ausiello, Michael (May 16, 2016). "CBS Renews Code Black, Odd Couple and 2 Other Bubble Shows". TVLine. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  3. Andreeva, Nellie (November 14, 2016). "CBS Orders More Episodes Of 'Man With A Plan', 'The Great Indoors' & 'Code Black'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  4. Stanhope, Kate; O'Connell, Michael (May 14, 2017). "CBS's 'Code Black' Renewed for Third Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  5. Pedersen, Erik (January 11, 2018). "CBS Sets Midseason Premiere Dates For 'Elementary' & 'Code Black'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
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  7. Cavassuto, Maria (June 3, 2016). "TV News Roundup: 'Code Black' Casting Shuffle Promotes One and Loses Two". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
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  10. Andreeva, Nellie (June 4, 2015). "Brett Mahoney Inks CBS Studios Deal, Joins 'Code Black' As Executive Producer". Deadline. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  11. Andreeva, Nellie (October 23, 2015). "'Limitless' Gets Full-Season Order From CBS". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  12. Abrams, Natalie (November 20, 2015). "CBS orders more Code Black". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (February 17, 2015). "Marcia Gay Harden Joins CBS Medical Drama Pilot 'Code Black'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
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  15. Goldberg, Lesley (February 24, 2015). "'Lost's' Maggie Grace to Topline CBS Medical Drama 'Code Black'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  16. Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2015). "Luis Guzman To Star In CBS' 'Code Black'; Cody Horn In ABC's 'Broad Squad'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  17. Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2015). "'Homeland's Raza Jaffrey To Co-Star In CBS Pilot 'Code Black'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  18. Petski, Denise (March 5, 2015). "Charity Wakefield To Star In 'Endgame'; Ben Hollingsworth Joins 'Code Black'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  19. Ausiello, Michael (March 9, 2015). "Lost Vet Maggie Grace Exits CBS' Medical Drama Pilot Code Black". TVLine. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
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  29. "Code Black (2015): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  30. Richford, Rhonda (June 17, 2016). "Marcia Gay Harden Celebrates Acting Win for 'Code Black' at Monte Carlo TV Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
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