Medical drama ‘Heartbeat’ debuts tonight on NBC

The life of a real-life female heart surgeon comes to NBC tonight with a preview of the new medical drama “Heartbeat”.

“There’s a little bit of pressure to be fabulous,” says star Melissa George.

George plays Dr. Alex Pantierre, a fictionalized version of Dr. Kathy Magliato, whose memoir inspired “Heartbeat”.

“You cry and while you’re crying, you’re laughing, because the situations are so serious, but there’s just, the character’s funny,” George says.

She says Pantierre’s mix of humor and spunk make her compelling.

“She’s witty and gregarious,” George says. “She’s better when there’s an audience. When there’s more people in the ER, she thrives.”

The real life surgeon makes a cameo in the premiere, and she’s a frequent presence on the set.

“I find myself sitting on my hands, wanting to sort of leap out and help them. It feels real,” Dr. Magliato says.

“Heartbeat” premieres tonight, following “The Voice” at 8 p.m., then moves to its regular time slot at 7 p.m on Wednesday.

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