Scrubs' Judy Reyes, ER's Parminder Nagra to guest-star as doctors on Black-ish
The doctors will see you now.
Judy Reyes and Parminder Nagra are bringing their medical expertise to ABC's Black-ish, playing fellow doctors of star Tracee Ellis Ross' Dr. Rainbow Johnson. EW has your exclusive first look below at all of the women together in season 7's season premiere — distanced while talking and eating lunch, face shields visible on the large table where they're seated. Here, Reyes, who played Nurse Carla Espinosa on Scrubs, and Parminder Nagra, who played Dr. Neela Rasgotra on NBC's ER, are playing Dr. Laurie and Dr. Wen, respectively.
"It was great and weird because we have our shields and you have to remove your PPE right before [shooting of the scene begins]," Ross explains to EW. "So there wasn’t a lot of bonding time. There weren't a lot of moments for us to connect as actors and do what we should do in this job. ... They were fantastic, and I hope that they come back again. I hope that we do more together."
Viewers of the ABC comedy are more used to seeing Anthony Anderson's Dre at his place of work as an advertising executive, but the series, given the global pandemic, is focusing a bit more on Bow's job to show how she and other medical workers are “seeing a different reality than the rest of us are seeing,” showrunner Courtney Lilly tells EW. “We’re a show that takes place in the same reality that we all live in. There would be no version of us not being able to address what’s going on.”
That also means showing the Johnson family, like so many others, sheltering in place together. But don't expect any debates about mask-wearing. “We’re not trying to change the look of the show too much, but we know we wouldn’t be doing what we do if we didn’t at least address it honestly,” Lilly explains.
Season 7 of ABC's Black-ish kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET; that is preceded by a two-part animated special on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m.
—With reporting by Marcus Jones and Sarah Rodman