Today's News: Our Take - Is David E. Kelley's Monday Mornings a Carbon Copy of Grey's Anatomy?

TV Guide

There are hot doctors who may have unrequited feelings for one another. Colleagues call one of the docs 007. Another doc is definitely McDreamy - and has the hair to prove it.

No, we're not talking about Grey's Anatomy. We're describing TNT's new medical drama Monday Mornings, a near carbon-copy of ABC's Seattle-based series. In David E. Kelley's new take on the medical world, doctors - including those played by Jamie Bamber, Alfred Molina, Ving Rhames and Jennifer Finnigan - in a Portland-based hospital face life-and-death decisions every day as they fight against often-impossible odds to save their patients.

"A medical franchise will invite comparisons to other medical franchises," Kelley tells TVGuide.com. "I haven't seen a whole lot of Grey's lately, so it's not fair for me to compare. I compare more to Chicago Hope and ER - Chicago Hope I did, and ER I watched invariably."

The difference with this medical drama, Kelley says, is that the focus of each episode is on the weekly M&M meeting that takes place on - you guessed it - Monday mornings. The M&M (or Morbidity & Mortality) focuses on the doctor's actions that lead to deaths in the hospital so they can learn from their mistakes. "This is about the doctors holding each other accountable," Dr. Sanjay Gupta, whose book the series is based on, told reporters at the show's Winter TV preview panel Friday.

 "I think it's the Monday morning chapter of our storytelling that's very, very different," Kelley says. "We're going behind the veil and really aggressively analyzing these doctors as doctors. That, I don't think, has been portrayed in medical shows in the way we're endeavoring to do it."

Despite comparisons, Kelley insists there's still plenty of ground to cover in the medical world. "First I had a reservation of the project itself because I've done a medical show before," Kelley says. "It sounded great, but the terrain sounded a little familiar with Chicago Hope. Then I read the book and saw that it was completely different... It felt like fertile storytelling ground."

"Are we reinventing the wheel? Probably not," he adds. "But is our wheel different from others that have been out there before? I think so."

Monday Mornings premieres Monday, Feb. 4 at 10/9c on TNT. Will you be watching?

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