Children's Medical Center Series Grabs Viewers

Real-life drama's opening episode tugs hearts of prime-time audience

Aug 04, 2011, 18:26 ET from Children's Medical Center

DALLAS, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 100,000 viewers tuned in Wednesday night to see the debut episode of a groundbreaking five-part series focusing on Children's Medical Center ( on WFAA Ch. 8.

The original dramatic series, "Children's Med Dallas," will continue airing on Wednesday nights through August, revealing the tears and triumphs in behind-the-scenes stories of life at the nation's 7th-largest pediatric hospital. The show wraps up with an hour-long grand finale in September.

The series made a strong showing against fresh national network programming, including the popular CBS reality show "Big Brother." And with the coveted target demographic of women ages 25-54 the show was a major success, notching second place among Dallas-Fort Worth viewers and scoring nearly a full rating point ahead of the popular "So You Think You Can Dance" on FOX.

Wednesday's episode focused on the struggles of Presley Reed, then 2 years old, and infant Annabella Spears, both waiting for liver transplants.  The show portrayed in harrowing detail the hopes and fears experienced by Reed's parents, Barbie Smith and Cody Reed, and Spears' parents, Shad and Alexa Spears. Cameras documented every step as Dr. Dev Desai, chief of pediatric transplantation, and the hospital team planned the delicate surgeries that may save the girls' lives.

Buzz about the show grew rapidly through social media and word of mouth before its debut. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings mentioned the five-part TV documentary Wednesday during a Back to School Proclamation Ceremony, as did city council members Pauline Medrano and Vonciel Jones Hill.  Last night after it aired, the show received widespread support on social networking venues, including Facebook and Twitter.

The series features compelling stories about surgeons, nurses and families across the hospital, with a heavy focus on organ transplants.  Physicians featured besides Desai include Dr. Joseph Forbess and Dr. Kristine Guleserian, both heart surgeons; Dr. Patricio Gargollo, a urologist who performs robotic surgery; Dr. Alex Kane, a plastic surgeon; and Dr. Stephen Megison, a general surgeon and trauma surgeon. Each physician also holds a faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The series will be featured on the hospital's Facebook page (, where viewers, patients and their families can discuss the show. A brief intro video for the show may be seen here: Plans to run each episode online were modified due to national media interest in the program. Each episode may be viewed by the public online until 5 p.m. CDT the day following its TV broadcast.  A password-protected link to view the episodes will be provided to media interested in the series. For more information, contact Laurie Holloway, manager of media relations, at 214-456-5318.

About Children's Medical Center

Children's is a private, not-for-profit system. It's the seventh-largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. It was the state's first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the only pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. For more information about Children's, please visit

SOURCE Children's Medical Center