The series is based on the book of the same name by journalist Sheri Fink wherein she examines the questionable and impossible decisions made at Memorial Medical Center when the New Orleans hospital that was overwhelmed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The book further looks to answer whether the medical staff at the hospital intentionally euthanized critically ill patients after being trapped in the hospital for days.
Fink’s book has been a sought-after IP. It was first acquired by Scott Rudin to turn into a movie, however, the project did not pan out. Later rights were acquired by Ryan Murphy for a limited-series adaptation and most recently, the book became source material for the then-in-the-works American Crime Story: Katrina, all to no avail — until now.
Five Days At Memorial hails from ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. It is created by Academy Award winner John Ridley and Emmy Award winner Carlton Cuse. The series is directed by Cuse, Ridley, and Wendey Stanzler (For All Mankind, Dispatches From Elsewhere).
The Apple TV series casts Emmy Award nominee Vera Farmiga, Robert Pine, and Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (Transparent, Succession) in leading roles. Along with Julie Ann Emery (Better Call Saul, Preacher), Cornelius Smith Jr. (Scandal), Adepero Oduye (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Pariah), Molly Hager (Happyish, It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Michael Gaston (Blindspot, The Leftovers) and W. Earl Brown (Deadwood).
The series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ with the first three episodes on Friday, August 12, followed by new episodes weekly every Friday through September 16. Meanwhile, check out the synopsis and new trailer below.
Based on actual events and adapted from the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheri Fink, “Five Days at Memorial” chronicles the impact of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on a local hospital. When the floodwaters rose, power failed and heat soared, exhausted caregivers at a New Orleans hospital were forced to make decisions that would follow them for years to come.