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'Mercy'! James Van Der Beek returns, with heavage.

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Next week, James Van Der Beek joins the cast of NBC’s Mercy. He plays Dr. Joe Briggs, the arrogant new chief of the ICU, who immediately clashes with Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling). Watch the promo below and tell me if Mercy (clap! clap!) just got interesting.

I could (possibly) enjoy Van Der Beek as a badass. I’m getting that “slap him, then kiss him” vibe that I normally reserve for Ian Somerhalder. Though Somerhalder carries that charisma with him offscreen. Van Der Beek, not so much…. After the jump, a clip of him defending himself against recent comments made by Rob Lowe. Lowe had told Conan O’Brien that Van Der Beek lied when he said he’d caught Rob’s home run at a celebrity softball game. Van Der Beek brought photographic evidence to the contrary to Lopez Tonight. Who knew James was that athletic?