Why The Resident's Newest Series Regular Is 'Perfect Casting' For Season 6, According To The Co-Showrunner

Andrew McCarthy as Dr. Ian Sullivan in The Resident Season 5.
(Image credit: Fox)

The Resident is still a couple of months away from returning with Season 6, but the Fox medical drama is already making some moves worth getting excited about. Andrew McCarthy, who debuted as Dr. Ian Sullivan in the final arc of Season 5 (which you can revisit with a Hulu subscription), is not only coming back in the fall, but has been bumped up to series regular status. According to co-showrunner Anderw Chapman, adding the Brat Pack alum was “perfect casting.”

Andrew McCarthy is returning to The Resident as a series regular whose demons will continue to cause problems in his personal life even while he saves lives as a pediatric surgeon, according to Deadline. The promotion doesn’t come as a shocker, as his original casting back in April came with the report that he had the potential to be bumped up to regular in the sixth season, and he didn’t leave by the end of the Season 5 finale. 

Co-showrunner Andrew Chapman was optimistic about getting McCarthy as a regular as far back as the Season 5 finale, as he shared with CinemaBlend earlier this year. After I noted that Ian in Season 5 was frustrating for Cade but charming for almost everybody else, Chapman weighed in on the actor sticking around into Season 6, saying:

Yes, we want him to stick around and we love what you're talking about. We just think it's fantastic. He's both charming and narcissistic at the same time, which is such a great quality in a character, and sort of gives you that love/hate thing. We all love Cade and her relationship to the other doctors in the hospital. And now her dad comes in and he's kind of a jackass, but he's also changing a little bit and he's vulnerable because he's been sick. We just love the juice of that and yes, we fully plan to bring him back as a regular character. We think Andrew McCarthy is the perfect sort of slick, handsome, ambitious, but also has a little bit of vulnerability in there that you can find. He's kind of the perfect casting for that.

Cade may not have been overwhelmingly happy about the idea of her father sticking around Chastain, but fans can certainly be happy that the juicy storyline with Ian that was set up at the end of Season 5 can be explored. The Resident managed to pack a lot of development into less than half of a season, with his arrival with the goal of donating his blood to save his daughter, followed by his decision to stay for some time, then followed by his health crisis. Both Sullivans have been set up to work under one roof. 

Depending on what happens with the aftermath of the cliffhanger of Conrad’s choice, Cade could have a lot of complications to deal with. The fifth season ended with Conrad finding closure on his relationship with Nic via some flashbacks (which brought back Emily VanCamp) and ready to make a choice between Cade and Billie. Although the episode didn’t reveal who he picked, Andrew Chapman revealed that “Conrad’s made a choice” and the creative team made the choice, so the next stage was already planned when Season 5 ended.

Whether he has decided that he wants to pursue a relationship with Cade or with Billie remains to be seen, and fans may have to wait until September to get all the answers on that front, but one thing that can be counted on is more of Andrew McCarthy as Ian. The finale also saw Devon decide that he would stay in Atlanta and start over with Leela instead of pursuing a job in another state, so the show isn’t losing him either.

The Resident returns to Fox for Season 6 on Tuesday, September 20 at 8 p.m. ET. To plan ahead for when more shows will be back in the not-too-distant future and primetime starts filling up again with network television’s biggest shows, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).