Red Band Society is an American teen medical comedy-drama television series developed by Margaret Nagle and based upon the Catalan drama series Polseres vermelles, which revolves around a group of teenagers living together as patients in a hospital's pediatric ward.
What if a hospital was your high school, boarding school and summer camp rolled into one? What if it was the place where you fell in love for the first time and made friendships that lasted a lifetime? And what if it was all weirdly hilarious and the most fun you ever had in your entire life?
This is the world of Red Band Society. From Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, starring Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station) and based on the award-winning Spanish series, Polseres Vermelles, Red Band Society is a provocative, unconventional and, at times, comic high school drama told through the eyes of a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the pediatric ward of Ocean Park Hospital in Los Angeles.
The series is part comedy, part drama, with a tone that's unique unto itself. Twelve-year-old narrator Charlie (Griffin Gluck, Back in the Game, Private Practice) is in a coma in the hospital.
Charlie's friends and fellow patients include Jordi Palacios (Nolan Sotillo, Prom), a 16-year-old who illegally crosses the Mexican border into California to seek out treatment at the renowned hospital.
What he soon discovers is that it's not his illness that's going to change his life, but his new friends.
Also at the hospital is Leo Roth (Charlie Rowe, Neverland, Pirate Radio). At 16, Leo is charismatic and independent. But after living at the hospital for a year, he's starting to lose his way. When he's forced to room with Jordi, he's angry and resentful, until he realizes they are more alike than he could imagine.
The pediatric ward is run by Nurse Jackson (Spencer), a caregiver with a take-no-prisoners approach to getting these kids through the most difficult part of their lives.
Overseeing much of the treatment in the ward is Dr. Jack McAndrew (Dave Annable, Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue), the country's top pediatric surgeon.
Also attending to the patients is the naïve and gullible Nurse Brittany Dobler (newcomer Rebecca Rittenhouse), who allows the kids to get away with things they probably shouldn't.
Among those taking advantage of Nurse Dobler is Leo's best friend, Dash Hosney (Brian Bradley, aka Astro, The X Factor). Suffering from cystic fibrosis, 16-year-old Dash is determined to live every day as if it's his last.
Also on the ward is 15-year-old Emma Chota (Ciara Bravo, Big Time Rush), Leo's on-again-off-again girlfriend, who suffers from an eating disorder.
Rounding out this group of patients is mean girl Kara Souders (Zoe Levin, Arrested Development, The Way Way Back), a 16-year-old cheerleader who is brought in with heart failure and shares a room with Charlie. Daring everyone to up their game, she also goes head-to-head with Nurse Jackson.
Although many young patients who are seriously ill make complete recoveries, that day seems a long way off for these teens. And as they confront questions of life and death which no one at that age should have to face, a kinship based on these shared experiences is created - a bond represented by the red hospital bands issued to them upon admittance.
This is the story of the Red Band Society.
Red Band Society is produced by ABC Studios in association with Amblin Television. The series is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire, The Good Lie), Justin Falvey (The Americans, Falling Skies), Darryl Frank (The Americans, Falling Skies) and Sergio Aguero (No Reservations, Y Tu Mama Tambien).
Nagle wrote the pilot and developed the project for American television. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (GLEE, American Horror Story) directed the pilot.