|Five Days at Memorial|
|Based on||Five Days at Memorial:|
Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
by Sheri Fink
|Music by||Torin Borrowdale|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||39–52 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||August 12 –|
September 16, 2022
Five Days at Memorial is an American disaster medical drama television miniseries based on the 2013 book of the same name by Sheri Fink. The miniseries was developed, written and directed by John Ridley and Carlton Cuse. The series premiered on August 12, 2022, on Apple TV+.
Depicts the difficulties a New Orleans hospital endures after Hurricane Katrina makes landfall on the city.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Day One"||John Ridley||John Ridley||August 12, 2022|
|Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans. At Memorial Hospital, the doctors, nurses, and staff tend to patients and brace for the storm. A bridge going from one side of the hospital to the other looks like it might collapse, so Susan Mulderick orders Dr. Anna Pou to evacuate her team to the other side of the hospital.|
|2||"Day Two"||Carlton Cuse||John Ridley||August 12, 2022|
|While there is damage to Memorial Hospital, it is relatively minor, and the staff and patients think they've made it through the worst. Dr. Pou's husband wants her to go back home with him, but she refuses to leave the hospital because the situation is still an emergency. Soon after he departs, she learns the levees surrounding New Orleans are starting to break, and the waters are rising. She is distressed when she cannot reach him.|
|3||"Day Three"||Carlton Cuse||John Ridley||August 12, 2022|
|As the city floods, the hospital loses power. Susan Mulderick and the staff attempt to cope with the terrible conditions and prepare for an evacuation. Michael Arvin from corporate in Dallas is trying to help Memorial, but his superiors are seemingly uninterested. Mark and Sandra LeBlanc are trying to get back into New Orleans to help Mark's Mom, who is at Memorial.|
|4||"Day Four"||John Ridley||John Ridley||August 19, 2022|
|Conditions continue to deteriorate. After Dr. Pou gets upset while caring for a patient, Dr. Horace Baltz advises her to take a rest. An official from the Department of Health arrives and tells Susan Mulderick that there will be rescue boats for them next morning. He also tells them to use colored armbands on patients to prioritize who should be rescued. As it gets dark, the Coast Guard wants to continue the helicopter evacuation, but Mulderick says it is too dangerous and shuts down the rescues for the night. A false rumor spreads in the middle of the night that boats are arriving.|
|5||"Day Five"||John Ridley||John Ridley||August 26, 2022|
|Mark and Sandra LeBlanc reach Memorial by boat and rescue Mark's mom. The decision is made to euthanize all pets, as they will not be considered for evacuation. Law enforcement officers arrive with boats and tell staff they need to get everyone out by five p.m. Susan Mulderick says no living patient will be left behind and advises Dr. Pou to speak with Dr. Cook about making patients comfortable.|
|6||"45 Dead"||Wendey Stanzler||Carlton Cuse||September 2, 2022|
|Butch Schafer and Virginia Rider work for the state of Louisiana to determine what happened to the 45 people found dead at Memorial in the aftermath of Katrina. During their investigation, they speak to a number of staff members who believe that Dr. Pou gave some patients lethal doses of drugs to end their lives. Pou is offered a job at LSU, which she accepts. A CNN producer calls Pou to ask for the medical professionals' side of the story. Pou speaks with a Tenet attorney, who says she works for the company, not individual doctors. The lawyer advises Pou to hire her own counsel, which she does.|
|7||"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen"||Wendey Stanzler||Carlton Cuse||September 9, 2022|
|Due to the publicity about the investigation into Dr. Pou's alleged actions at Memorial after Katrina, she agrees to stop performing surgery. Toxicology results from eighteen of the dead patients show that nine tested positive for one or both of the drugs the pharmacist said he provided to Pou. One witness returns to tell Schafer and Rider that she saw Pou injecting several LifeCare patients and went with her to the door of Emmett Everett's room. Everett's wife asks Rider not to let powerful people make the investigation go away. Rider, confident in the case, comes to Pou's house and arrests her for the murder of four of the patients.|
|8||"The Reckoning"||Wendey Stanzler||Carlton Cuse||September 16, 2022|
|Renowned forensic experts conclude that multiple patient deaths were homicides, but prosecutors with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office - which now has jurisdiction in the case against Dr. Pou - are less enthusiastic than Schafer and Rider. Pou's lawyer convinces her to appear on 60 Minutes, where she comes across as sympathetic and credible, leading the coroner, Dr. Frank Minyard, to ask to meet with her. Minyard reveals he was close with her father, who helped him start his practice. The Orleans Parish grand jury declines to indict Pou, but key witnesses and experts were never called. Pou gives a lecture, and Dr. Baltz confronts her about her version of events at Memorial.|
In 2013, shortly after its release, Scott Rudin acquired the rights to adapt Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital as a film to be produced with Eli Bush under Scott Rudin Productions.
By 2017, the film rights had reportedly lapsed, prompting Ryan Murphy to approach Scott Rudin about adapting Five Days at Memorial for television as the third season of the FX true crime anthology series American Crime Story, with Sarah Paulson set to star as Dr. Anna Pou. The adaptation, however, never came to fruition, and in 2019, Rudin started shopping the project elsewhere.
As part of his overall deal with ABC Signature, Carlton Cuse acquired the television rights, and then contacted John Ridley to collaborate. In September 2020, Apple ordered Five Days at Memorial as a limited series to be produced for Apple TV+. Both Cuse and Ridley serve as writers, directors, executive producers, and co-showrunners of the series.
Vera Farmiga was cast in March 2021, with Adepero Oduye, Cornelius Smith Jr. and Julie Ann Emery joining in April 2021, Cherry Jones and Molly Hager joining in May 2021, Michael Gaston joining in June 2021, and Joe Carroll joining in August 2021.
Production took place from May 25 to November 10, 2021, in Toronto and New Orleans.
The series premiered on Apple TV+ on August 12, 2022, with its first three episodes. Each following episode was released weekly on Fridays.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an 90% approval rating with an average rating of 7.8/10, based on 29 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Five Days at Memorial is unflinching to the point of punishing, thoroughly recounting an absolute calamity while giving due to those who tried their best to stanch the tragic fallout." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".