''Saved,'' ''Hell's Kitchen,'' and ''Hex'' are just some of the shows hitting the air this month

By EW Staff
Updated June 02, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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SAVED
tnt | june 12 | 10 p.m.

Here’s a special alert for the city of Vancouver: If you see Tom Everett Scott piloting an ambulance down your back streets, pull over. ”We hardly ever have to drive it,” says the actor of his new ride on TNT’s paramedic drama Saved. ”When we do, we’re good.” So they’re not just careening about? ”Well, at night, yeah! That’s after work. Get drunk, get in the ambulance, turn on the siren for the hell of it…”

So while the Pacific Northwest vigilantly watches for wasted actors in medical vehicles (although we assume Scott is kidding), TNT is hoping that everybody else stays tuned after The Closer for another character-driven procedural with a slightly cracked protagonist. Ten years after he was hailed as The Next Tom Hanks in the wake of That Thing You Do!, Scott — who’s been more MIA than marquee star since then — finally has a worthy alter ego: Wyatt Cole, a med-school dropout (and compulsive gambler) whose general disdain for personal responsibility suits the off-kilter world of EMTs. ”He can’t get along with anybody,” says Scott. ”He can’t get it together with his dad or his ex-girlfriend who he loves. He doesn’t want to go to school. He’s a slacker, man, a reluctant hero. And the fun of it for me is, like, how long can I keep this guy going?”

That’s a question for any new medical series, really: After 12 years in the ER and popular newcomers House and Grey’s Anatomy, how do you keep intubations and defibrillations fresh? ”We’re thinking emergency medicine in outer space,” says creator and exec producer David Manson (Thief, Big Love). Hey, he’s earned that crack: ”I was developing a pilot about surgeons for ABC, ironically called Gold’s Anatomy, a few years ago.” (Ouch.) ”I became fascinated with the underappreciated nature of EMTs. They’re low on the medical hierarchy. They’re underpaid. And they’re out there doing procedures that are extraordinary — in an ambulance that’s going 40, 50, 60 miles an hour.”

Back to that ambulance. Scott’s apparently got the driving down, but what about the patient care? Frankly, we pity anyone cast as a gurney-strapped victim. ”I’m not gonna lie to you,” he says. ”We’ve dropped a few people. And it’s interesting to watch them go from having a great day to looking at me and going, ‘Do you really know what you’re doing?”’ Let’s just hope that the audience has an easier time of it than the extras. — Whitney Pastorek

HELL’S KITCHEN
fox | june 12 | 9 p.m.

Master chef Gordon Ramsay is back at the helm as 12 more contestants compete to run their own Vegas restaurant. Season 2 takes a page from The Donald’s Apprentice playbook, pitting men against women. And this time the restaurant is also open for lunch instead of just those tragic, incomplete dinners. Ramsay, thankfully, hasn’t changed at all. ”You’d think [the contestants would] raise their games a little bit…but I was horrified,” says the world-renowned yeller. ”When the s— hits the fan, it’s really important for it to hit the fan, or you can’t gauge standards.” Nothing beats fireworks in the summertime.

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