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Getting On (U.S. TV series)

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Title: Getting On (U.S. TV series)  
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Subject: Niecy Nash, Jayma Mays, List of American television series based on British television series, Animated Tales of the World, On the Record with Bob Costas
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Getting On (U.S. TV series)

Getting On
Genre Comedy
Medical comedy
Created by
Based on Getting On
(BBC Four series) 
by Jo Brand
Joanna Scanlan
Vicki Pepperdine
Written by Mark V. Olsen
Will Scheffer
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Howard Deutch
Becky Martin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 12 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Chrisann Verges
Camera setup Single
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Anima Sola Productions
BBC Worldwide Productions
Original channel HBO
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release November 24, 2013 (2013-11-24) – present
External links

Getting On is an American television comedy series based on the British series of the same name, created and written by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer.[1] The series premiered on HBO on November 24, 2013.[2][3] The show has garnered positive reviews from critics.[4] It stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash, and Mel Rodriguez. The series was renewed for a third and final six-episode season,[5] to premiere on November 8, 2015.[6]


The series is set in the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit of the down-and-out Mount Palms Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, California. The show follows the lives of the staff involved in the ward's daily operation, specifically Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf), the ward's director of medicine; Dawn Forchette (Alex Borstein), the head nurse; Didi Ortley (Niecy Nash), a nurse; and Patsy De La Serda (Mel Rodriguez), the supervising nurse.


Main cast

  • Laurie Metcalf as Dr. Jenna James, director of medicine. She is uptight, self-centered and lacks social skills. She is usually oblivious to the offense she causes, believing people are impressed by her professionalism. In truth however, she is unintentionally psychologically abusive, especially towards head nurse Dawn. To the annoyance of her co-workers, Jenna often conducts various research studies using hospital resources. She is currently conducting a study on shrinking perineum in the elderly and one involving the use of mice. In collaboration with a hospice-care organization, Jenna introduces a hospice program into the ward, with the intent of using the extra profits to fund her research studies. Jenna gets greedy however when she begins classifying patients that are not dying of a terminal illness as part of the hospice program. This scheme is later exposed, putting Jenna, everyone else in the ward, and the hospital in jeopardy.
  • Alex Borstein as Dawn Forchette, the head nurse. Her husband has recently left her and took her car and dog. She often lets her various personal and romantic problems affect her work performance. She always works by the rules and has a difficult relationship with Jenna, who unintentionally bullies her. She has a complicated relationship with Patsy due to the fact that she slept with him, even though he may be gay. Dawn and Patsy's relationship improves and he becomes her boyfriend. She later discovers that she is pregnant, believing Patsy to be the father. After an ultrasound however, Dawn discovers that she was never pregnant, and instead had a blighted ovum. This discovery leads to difficulties in her relationship with Patsy, and they eventually break-up. She later hastily marries hospital security guard Dennis Beardman, seemingly just to spite Patsy.
  • Niecy Nash as Denise "DiDi" Ortley, a return-to-work nurse. She is empathetic to the concerns of patients and their families, which often brings her into conflict with some of her colleagues who are more concerned with sticking to the rules. She appears to be happily married with two children, a daughter in college and a son in high school. DiDi implies that her son has had issues. She is also currently taking care of her sister's children because of issues involving her sister. DiDi also has a strained relationship with her half-sister Sherrie, who also is a nurse. After a hospice-care program is introduced into the ward, she is appointed as the hospice-nurse liaison.
  • Mel Rodriguez as Patsy De La Serda, the supervising nurse. He is very emotional and socially awkward in the workplace. He has stated that he was on a vegan diet because he needs to lose weight. Due to his ideas regarding how to run the ward, he often comes into conflict with Dr. James, who holds more traditional views about the running of the ward. He is having a complicated relationship with Dawn, as he has identified as homosexual even though he slept with her. His relationship with Dawn improves and she becomes his girlfriend. After Dawn's pregnancy is diagnosed as a blighted ovum, he begins to experience difficulties in his relationship with Dawn and they eventually break-up.

Recurring cast

  • Kurtis Bedford as Dennis Beardman, a hospital security guard that Dawn hastily marries after he shows a romantic interest in her.
  • K Callan as Susan Dayward, a patient recovering from knee-replacement surgery.
  • Kimberly Celemen as Kitty Doris, a medical resident whose name Jenna constantly forgets.
  • Brandon Fobbs as Antoine Robertson, an orderly who flirts with Dawn.
  • Ann Guilbert as Birdy Lamb, a patient who due to a continuous flow of illnesses, has been in the ward for some time.
  • Mark Harelik as Dr. Paul Stickley, a medical colleague of Jenna's who is later appointed the hospital's director of medicine.
  • Joel Johnstone as Andrew Cesario, a medical resident and later Jenna's research assistant.
  • Lindsey Kraft as Marguerite Macaw, a student nurse.
  • Kasey Mahaffy as Rick Joy, a hospital administrator.
  • Jayma Mays as Suzi Sasso, a corporate representative for a hospice-care organization.
  • Betty Murphy as Fiona Sullivan, a patient dying of cancer.
  • Mary Kay Place as Dr. Ann Killigrew, an Ob/Gyn who has a crush on Jenna.
  • Patricia Scanlon as Paula Pepperell, a union representative.
  • Molly Shannon as Phyllis Marmatan, Fiona Sullivan's concerned daughter.
  • Alia Shawkat as Colleen Hoover, a hospice-care volunteer.

Guest stars


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 6 November 24, 2013 (2013-11-24) December 29, 2013 (2013-12-29)
2 6 November 9, 2014 (2014-11-09) December 14, 2014 (2014-12-14)
3 6 November 8, 2015 (2015-11-08)[6] December 13, 2015 (2015-12-13)

Production and development

On August 14, 2012, HBO placed a pilot order on an American adaptation of the popular BBC Four series of the same name. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer were attached to write the pilot script and serve as executive producers alongside Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner and Geoff Atkinson via Anima Sola Productions and BBC Worldwide Productions.[7]

Casting announcements began in the following November with Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash cast in the three lead roles. Metcalf signed onto the role of Dr. Jenna James, the uptight, self-centred director of medicine; Borstein joined in the role of Dawn Forchette, the head nurse who struggles with self-esteem and ultimately ends up in inappropriate sexual situations; and Nash cast in the remaining lead role of Denise "DiDi" Ortley, a big-hearted, return-to-work nurse.[8]

On March 21, 2013, HBO placed a six-episode series order on the series.[9] The series six-episode first season premiered on HBO on November 24, 2013, and concluded on December 29, 2013.[2] On February 19, 2014, Getting On was renewed for a six-episode second season,[10] of which premiered on November 9, 2014.[3] On February 9, 2015, HBO renewed the series for a third and final season to consist of six episodes.[5]


Critical response

The first season has received positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 72% of critics liked it with an average rating of 7.5/10 with the general consensus: "Though sometimes juvenile in nature, Getting On finds the funny, even in a somber setting, with humorous yet sensitive narratives and characterizations."[11] The pilot episode scored a 72 out of 100 on Metacritic indicating generally favorable reviews.[4] In a highly positive review, San Francisco Chronicle contributor David Wiegand said, "There is a brilliant mix of poignancy and hilarity in Getting On, which is why it all works so well."[12] Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club wrote "Getting On captures the drudgery of work and life in this ward, but it also catches glimpses of the beauty, and it’s in those moments that it feels like a series that deserves better than it’s going to get."[13] On the more negative side, Mike Lechevallier of Slant Magazine wrote that "the show's setting is such an overwhelmingly depressing environment that much of the offbeat humor ends up flatlining."[14]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.6/10 based on 11 reviews. The critics' consensus is "Getting On continues to work by poking fun at a typically serious theme and the psychological drama surrounding it, with a dose of laugh-out-loud slapstick injected into a big, sweet heart."[15]


For the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, Niecy Nash received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.[16]

Home media release

The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on November 11, 2014,[17] and region 4 on November 12, 2014.[18] The one-disc set includes all six season one episodes, a gag reel and deleted scenes.


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External links

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