Before the Chicago Universe, There Was ‘Third Watch’: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Kim Raver Talks About Her Days on Set

THIRD WATCH, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Raver, Chris Bauer, Coby Bell, Molly Price, Skipp Sudduth, Tia Texada, Michael Beach, Anthony Ruivivar and Nia Long. 1999-2005
© NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

One great television show about first responders that has gotten sort of lost to history — though now you can find all 6 seasons on the Roku Channel! — was the 1999-2005 series Third Watch, about paramedics, firefighters and cops working out of a New York City district nicknamed Camelot, because of its location at the corner of King and Arthur.

THIRD WATCH, Molly Price, Jason Wiles

NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

More of a serious drama than a regular procedural series, it centered around a core group of very three-dimensional characters and their struggles with working dangerous jobs and maintaining friendships and relationships in their late twenties/thirties. Much of the cast went on to star in some pretty big hits: Molly Price, who is married to a real-life firefighter, was on Shameless and most recently in the first season of Feud; her onscreen husband, played by Chris Bauer, went on to costar in 6 seasons of the HBO hit True Blood; Skipp Sudduth would later star on The Good Wife and a little-known but amazing series called Quarry; then there’s my personal favorite character, the loose-cannon-with-a-heart-of-gold Officer Boscorelli, played by Jason Wiles, who was just on the new detective series Will Trent; and, most famously perhaps, were paramedics and best friends Kim Raver —  now a star on Grey’s Anatomy — and Bobby Cannavale, who’s just about everywhere these days, especially since his stint on Boardwalk Empire as Gyp Rosetti.

THIRD WATCH 1999-, (l to r): Kim Raver, Bobby Cannavale, Year 1

Image courtesy of Everett

Oh, and we can’t forget about 90s Sunset Beach star Eddie Cibrian, who played Kim Zambrano’s (Raver) ex-husband and on-again-off-again love interest, firefighter/ladies man Jimmy Doherty, and Coby Bell, a series regular on Walker. What a cast!

We recently got to talk to Kim Raver about the upcoming landmark 20th season of Grey’s Anatomy, after which we took a trip down memory lane to discuss her breakout role as paramedic Kim Zambrano on Third Watch.

Are you still in touch with your Third Watch paramedic partner Bobby Cannavale?

We see each other every once in a while, but he’s in New York. I’ve seen him at some of the award ceremonies and we still have a great laugh every time.

THIRD WATCH, Kim Raver, 1999-2005

(c)Warner Bros. Television/courtesy Everett Collection

Do you have any favorite storylines from the show?

I just love the camaraderie amongst the paramedics and being in the ambulance driving around and kind of talking about our lives. And then, all of a sudden, you’re out in the world saving people’s lives, but you’re still talking about your own life. I love that whole family camaraderie of the firefighters and inside the house, the Camelot house. I mean, that’s in every show, but for some reason it stuck with me at the time.

Were there any particularly difficult scenes to shoot?

There was not a time that we did not film. We would shoot our exteriors in New York City in January, February, and we would shoot during blizzards. We had one scene on an ice-skating rink in the pouring rain, and we had to save this patient that was on the ice. So Bobby and I, because you had to crouch down over the patient, we were thigh high in freezing water from the rain on the ice. I don’t think I defrosted from that day for weeks after that. It was crazy.

GREY'S ANATOMY, (from left): Kevin McKidd, Kim Raver, 'Shock To The System', (Season 7, ep. 702, aired Sept. 30, 2010), 2005-.

photo: Eric McCandless / ©ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

After being a paramedic on Third Watch and a surgeon on Grey’s Anatomy, does it make you feel like you could be a doctor?

Yeah, sometimes I think in my mind I’m a doctor and I’m very disappointed to find out that absolutely there’s no way, like nothing. They’re very incredible humans, with what they do. I mean, Teddy is cracking open chests with a saw and opening up the heart cavity and basically repairing the heart. I don’t think on a day-to-day basis people really realize this. So yeah, I think what they do is amazing and I’m absolutely sure there’s no way that I could be doing it. I have complete respect and I am in awe of them. They have lives and things that are going on that they have to manage, but they do have an amazing ability to just sort of lock in and go.

THIRD WATCH, Michael Cullen, Eddie Cibrian, 1999-present, episode 'Sunny, Like Sunshine' aired 11/7/99,

Warner Bros. Television/courtesy Everett Collection

Would Kim Raver ever do a Third Watch reboot? Read her interview with TV Insider where she answers this question!

If you haven’t seen Third Watch (or want to watch it again), and you like shows about first responders, you can find all 6 seasons on the Roku Channel.



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