'The Knick': 5 things to know about Cinemax's Steven Soderbergh-Clive Owen drama

the-knick-cinemax-clive-owen-soderbergh.jpgDirector Steven Soderbergh is coming out of retirement, yet again, and his latest TV venture, "The Knick" for Cinemax is not for the faint of heart.

The series, which centers on the fictional Knickerbocker Hospital in New York City in 1900 and the surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of what was then a pretty primitive form of medicine. It isn't like any series you are to likely to have seen on TV before.

Here are five major things Zap2it learned about the drama, which stars Clive Owen, Andre Holland and Eve Hewson from the writing team of Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, at the summer TV critics' press tour.

It had to be on Cinemax

Soderbergh says the decision to place the show on Cinemax was "an ego problem" and that "he wanted to feel like "the big kid at a small school." The director adds that not having too many hands in the pot has been "efficient" and "fun."

Get ready for Season 2

Although it has yet to be seen by the masses, Cinemax announced the series has already been picked up for a second season. Soderbergh confirms he will be back on board to direct all 10 episodes of Season 2, saying, "You're seeing a trend now of fewer directors doing a series. There's a positive aspect to having a visual language that is very specific and very unifying throughout the show."

It's dark, and not just in the way you would expect


Although a dark tone is to be expected, the show is actually dark, as in there isn't a lot of light. Soderbergh explains the sets were lit authentically: "I wanted the show to be dark enough you could understand what it was like to walk around in that period."

The medical procedures are not fiction

Even though the story is set in a fictional hospital, writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler assure that almost all the surgical procedures featured came from real cases in history. The self-professed research geeks delved pretty deeply into the period.

Owen was reluctant to commit

Owen says he "wasn't sure" about committing to 10 (now 20) hours of television when he was first approached. However, he says after finishing the pilot script, "there was no way" he wasn't going to be a part of it.

"The Knick" premieres Friday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cinemax.

Photo/Video credit: Cinemax