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Whoopi prescribes 'Strong Medicine' for women on Lifetime drama
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The idea for the Lifetime network's new drama, "Strong Medicine," was born right alongside Whoopi Goldberg's grandson.
A long hospital wait gave Goldberg, one of the show's executive producers, new insight into the health profession as she listened to doctors and nurses discussing medical issues.
The experience "made me believe that if this was information that I didn't have, that maybe a lot of people didn't have it," the Oscar-winning actress said. "And maybe it was time for a show to offer something more than some good-looking doctors and a love life in a hospital."
"Strong Medicine," which airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the women-oriented cable network, brings together a pair of doctors from very different schools of medicine.
Rosa Blasi plays Dr. Luisa Delgado, who is attuned to the medical concerns of her blue-collar and underprivileged patients at a south Philadelphia free clinic.
"I'm the type of person that would probably steal medical supplies if we ran out of money," she said.
Janine Turner is Dr. Dana Stowe, a researcher from a prestigious hospital who's most familiar with the health issues of upscale women.
"I think that one of the points the show is trying to make is that to one particular problem there can be two different -- completely different -- yet valid answers," she said.
Goldberg will make occasional appearances as an expert on women's health issues.
"She's one of the reasons I wanted to do the project," said Turner, who played headstrong Maggie O'Connell on "Northern Exposure." "I respect Whoopi. I think she's a great humanitarian. She cares about people, and I think that this shows, (and) is respected in the show."
Blasi believes her show fills a void in the genre, even though medical dramas have cluttered the airways for years.
"This is a drama about women," she said. "The issues that we're dealing with in every episode are women's health issues that aren't brought up on other series, where it's just general medicine."
After finishing 'Groove,' Whoopi to be a 'Hollywood Square,'
Lifetime: Strong Medicine
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