"Grey's in the jungle!" That's the nickname the actors on ABC's new medical drama Off the Map have given their series, which will likely premiere in early 2011. But the producers, including Shonda Rhimes (who also created Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice), prefer to think of their new bush baby as "Indiana Jones with scalpels." And after getting down and dirty with the sweaty cast in Hawaii earlier this month, I can see why.
The story finds a group of damaged docs, who are just as complex as Derek and Meredith of Grey's, escaping their pasts to save lives in the South American village La Ciudad de las Estrellas (City of Stars). And OTM may spawn some new TV stars — perhaps none brighter than the one with a head of hair that rivals Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey's. Yes, I'm talking about Martin Henderson, a hunky New Zealander best remembered as Naomi Watts' ex in The Ring.
What's really fun about the series is that it's shot almost entirely outdoors, allowing for mudslides, helicopter crashes, candlelit C-sections, waterfall skinny-dipping and, my favorite, Amazon army ants that act as sutures! "It's chock-full of things you haven't seen on medical shows before," promises creator Jenna Bans. Adds Rhimes, "It's basically your dream and nightmare vacation all in one!"
For more exclusive Off the Map photos, pick up this week's issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, October 21!