New Amsterdam picked up the pace and raised the stakes higher than ever in the second half of Season 4, including with an episode helmed by Korean-American director Jean Lee. She directed the episode that featured Max and Fuentes’ final big confrontation before Michelle Forbes’ character’s downfall, while Helen went through an impactful arc with her mother in London after her stroke. Lee’s episode, called “Truth Be Told,” also aired during May, which is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and she opened up to CinemaBlend about the experience and the timing.
Jean Lee came to New Amsterdam as part of NBCU’s Female Forward program, which works to create gender parity in scripted TV directing. That program promotes opportunities for female directors who have been underrepresented in their profession in television, and Lee’s episode of New Amsterdam proved just what is possible when directors are given the chance to work on a major network show. The Korean-American director spoke with CinemaBlend, and shared her thoughts on “Truth Be Told” airing during AAPI Heritage Month:
While progress has been made about promoting diversity for Asian and Latino directors in the entertainment industry, there is still a long way to go, but Jean Lee’s directing stint and episode broadcast date during May were “meaningful” to her and others on the set of New Amsterdam. The May broadcast date also came as a surprise to Lee, as she had no idea when she directed that her episode would air during AAPI Heritage Month. She explained:
New Amsterdam’s broadcast schedule was certainly unusual during the fourth season, first due to the 2022 Olympics that bumped a lot of NBC programming from the usual primetime slots, and then due to Renée Zellweger’s The Thing About Pam taking over Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. for several weeks. The showrunners opened up about how the schedule meant a big change for what turned out the be a two-parter packed with cliffhangers about the fates of many key characters.
The pace picked up quickly following the spring premiere, which meant that Jean Lee’s episode had a lot to cover that has turned out to be important for the final arc of Season 4. She shared how she prepared to enter a show already four seasons in with so many established characters and storylines:
Jean Lee can now officially count herself as a director with experience in scripted TV, with an episode under her belt that delivered some turning points for the whole season. She also shared some photos from her time working on New Amsterdam to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the work that went into her episode:
A photo posted by on
You can revisit Lee’s episode of New Amsterdam streaming with a Peacock subscription, as well as those before and after to remind just how essential some of the twists were to the season overall. The fourth season also isn’t over just yet, so be sure to tune in to NBC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET until the finale on May 24. For more important dates for the biggest shows on television, check out our spring TV finale schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).