The Knick

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The Knick
Created by
Written by
Directed bySteven Soderbergh
ComposerCliff Martinez
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerMichael Polaire
Production locationNew York
CinematographySteven Soderbergh
(as Peter Andrews)
EditorsSteven Soderbergh
(as Mary Ann Bernard)
Running time42–57 minutes
Production companiesAMBEG Screen Products
Anonymous Content
Extension 765
Original release
ReleaseAugust 8, 2014 (2014-08-08) –
December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)

The Knick is an American medical period drama television series on Cinemax created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler and directed by Steven Soderbergh. The series follows Dr. John W. Thackery (Clive Owen) and the staff at a fictionalized version of the Knickerbocker Hospital (the Knick) in New York during the early twentieth century. Amiel and Begler wrote the majority of the episodes and are executive producers. Owen, Soderbergh, Gregory Jacobs, and Michael Sugar (Anonymous Content) were executive producers. Steven Katz was the supervising producer and also writer, Michael Polaire was the producer and David Kirchner the associate producer.

The show premiered on Cinemax on August 8, 2014.[1] On July 10, 2014, Cinemax renewed The Knick for a ten-episode second season,[2] which premiered on October 16, 2015.[3] In March 2017, Cinemax announced the series was canceled.[4]

In September 2020, Soderbergh confirmed that a new season of The Knick was in development led by Barry Jenkins and André Holland, who would return as his character Dr. Algernon C. Edwards, and that original creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler have written a pilot episode.[5] In April 2023, Begler confirmed that a spin-off series was still in development. The pilot script features Algernon Edwards and is set in 1919 Harlem.[6]


In New York City in 1900, the Knickerbocker Hospital operates with inventive surgeons, nurses and staff who struggle against the limitations of medical understanding and practice to minimize morbidity and mortality. Dr. John Thackery (partially based on historical figure William Stewart Halsted), the new leader of the surgery staff, balances his cocaine and opium addictions against his ambition for medical discovery and his reputation among his peers.[7] Dr. Algernon Edwards, a Harvard-educated Black American surgeon (probably based on the historical Daniel Hale Williams and Louis T. Wright) who trained in Paris, and is much more qualified than any other candidate, must fight for respect among the all-white hospital staff, as well as in the racially charged city.[8] While struggling to keep the lights on, the hospital attempts to attract a wealthy clientele, without sacrificing quality of care.



  • Clive Owen as Dr. John W. "Thack" Thackery: Chief surgeon at the Knickerbocker Hospital, highly talented and respected in the operating room. He is also a drug addict, regularly injecting cocaine during the day and spending nights at a Chinatown opium den.[1]
  • André Holland as Dr. Algernon C. Edwards: New Black American assistant chief surgeon at the Knick. He manages a secret after-hours clinic in the basement for Black Americans, who ordinarily are turned away from the hospital. He encounters constant racism from White doctors and patients.[1]
  • Jeremy Bobb as Herman Barrow: Manager of the Knick. He is constantly striving to finance the hospital with wealthy patrons and patients. Having mismanaged hospital funds, he is in debt to ruthless mobster Bunky Collier.[1]
  • Juliet Rylance as Cornelia Robertson: Head of the Knick's social welfare office. Daughter to Captain August Robertson, she serves as his representative on the board of directors. She is an old friend of Edwards, whose parents have worked for her family for years.[1]
  • Eve Hewson as Lucy Elkins: Nurse at the Knick. A West Virginia native, she grows close to Thack and Bertie.[1]
  • Michael Angarano as Dr. Bertram "Bertie" Chickering, Jr.: A young surgeon at the Knick. He is the son of Dr. Bertram Chickering, Sr. who is displeased with his son's choice of hospitals and admiration of Thack.[1]
  • Chris Sullivan as Tom Cleary: Ambulance driver. He augments his income by stealing possessions off those he picks up, as well as earning a fee from Barrow for delivering patients who can pay.[1]
  • Cara Seymour as Sister Harriet: Catholic nun and midwife who runs the orphanage affiliated with the Knick. She secretly conducts abortions in her off-hours.[1]
  • Eric Johnson as Dr. Everett Gallinger: Surgeon at the Knick. He resents Edwards for taking the assistant chief surgeon position, which Thack promised to Gallinger.[1]
  • David Fierro as Jacob Speight: Health department inspector. Although rude and abrasive, he works closely with Cornelia to identify the source of disease outbreaks.[1]
  • Maya Kazan as Eleanor Gallinger (née Walcott): Everett Gallinger's wife. The two have a baby daughter named Lillian.[1]
  • Leon Addison Brown as Jesse Edwards: Dr. Edwards' father who works for Captain Robertson as carriage driver.[1]
  • Grainger Hines as Captain August Robertson: Cornelia's father, a shipping tycoon and member of the Knick's board of directors. He is fond of Edwards and supports his medical career, which led to his appointment at the Knick.[1]
  • Matt Frewer as Dr. J. M. Christiansen: Former chief surgeon at the Knick and Thackery's mentor, who committed suicide after a fatal placenta previa operation. After his death, he appears in flashbacks and Thackery's visions. (season 1)[1]
  • Zaraah Abrahams as Opal Edwards: Algernon's European wife. (season 2)
  • Charles Aitken as Henry Robertson: Cornelia's brother. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)[9]
  • LaTonya Borsay as Evaline Edwards: Dr. Edwards' mother. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)
  • Rachel Korine as Junia: a local prostitute whom Barrow is in love with. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)
  • Tom Lipinski as Phillip Showalter: Cornelia's husband. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)[9]
  • Michael Nathanson as Dr. Levi Zinberg: Surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital whom Thackery views as a rival. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)


  • Jennifer Ferrin as Abigail Alford: Thackery's former lover who comes to him seeking medical help.[10]
  • Perry Yung as Ping Wu: Owner of the opium den on Mott Street which Thackery frequents.
  • Reg Rogers as Dr. Bertram Chickering, Sr.: Bertie's father.
  • Suzanne Savoy as Victoria Robertson: Cornelia's mother.
  • Gary Simpson as Hobart Showalter: Phillip's father.
  • Molly Price as Effie Barrow: Herman's wife.
  • Johanna Day as Eunice Showalter: Phillip's mother.
  • Happy Anderson as Mr. James "Jimmy" Fester: Bunky Collier's associate.
  • Lucas Papaelias as Eldon Pouncey: Tom Cleary's colleague at the Knick.
  • Zuzanna Szadkowski as Nurse Pell: Nurse at the Knick.
  • Ylfa Edelstein as Nurse Baker: Nurse at the Knick.
  • Ying Ying Li as Lin-Lin: Prostitute owned by Ping Wu.
  • Frank Wood as Mr. Havershorn
  • Richard James Porter as Monsignor Joseph Mills Lawlor
  • John Hodgman as Dr. Henry Cotton
  • Emily Bergl as Mrs. Hemming: Dr. Thackery's patient. (season 1)
  • Danny Hoch as Bunky Collier: New York mobster to whom Barrow is heavily indebted. (season 1)
  • Collin Meath as Phineas "Phinny" Sears: Irish-born New York City cop who tries to figure out how to get his piece of the pie.[11] (season 1)
  • Tom Papa as Luff (season 1)
  • Arielle Goldman as Genevieve Everidge: Investigative reporter. (season 2)
  • Stephen Spinella as A.D. Elkins: Revival preacher and Lucy's father. (season 2)
  • Linda Emond as Anne Chickering: Bertie's mother. (season 2)
  • Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine as D.W. Garrison Carr: an influential African-American intellectual. (season 2)
  • Emily Kinney as Nurse Daisy Ryan. (season 2)
  • Annabelle Attanasio as Dorothy Walcott: Eleanor Gallinger's sister. (season 2)
  • Andrew Rannells as Frazier H. Wingo: Architect of the new Knick. (season 2)
  • Ben Livingston as Dr. William H. Mays, a general practitioner who joins the Knick's surgical staff (season 2)
  • Colman Domingo as Dr. Russell Daniels. (season 2)
  • Fred Weller as Mr. Brockhurst (season 2)


Promotional poster for season one

Production for season 1 began in September 2013 in New York City.[1][12] Dr. Stanley Burns, founder and CEO of The Burns Archive, served as the on-set medical adviser on the series, and worked closely with production and the actors to make the hospital scenes realistic and authentic to the period.[1] Images from the Burns Archive became important references for everything from the antiseptic atomizers in the operating theater to an early X-ray machine, to the prosthetic worn by a recurring character.[13]

Jack Amiel and Michael Begler wrote the majority of the first-season episodes, and Steven Soderbergh directed all 10 episodes in the first season.[14] Soderbergh was also the director of photography and editor, under his usual pseudonyms Peter Andrews and Mary Ann Bernard, respectively.[15]

After the conclusion of the second season on December 18, 2015, it was announced that Cinemax had ordered a script for the season three premiere and a season outline, with negotiations for a third season.[16] In a December 2015 interview with director Steven Soderbergh, he confirmed that Dr. Thackery dies in the season two finale, and that it was all planned from the beginning, and Clive Owen only had a two-year contract for the series. Soderbergh also said, "I told them [Cinemax] that I'm going to do the first two years and then we are going to break out the story for seasons 3 and 4 and try to find a filmmaker or filmmakers to do this the way that I did. This is how we want to do this so that every two years, whoever comes on, has the freedom to create their universe."[17] However, Soderbergh decided, depending upon what those future seasons were, he would like to direct them. "We always envisioned The Knick in two-year increments and with the idea of annihilating what came before every two years.[18] In a 2021 interview Soderbergh outlined his original plan for a six-season series that would involve substantial leaps in time. Seasons 3 and 4 were to be set in the post-WWII era and seasons 5 and 6 in the immediate future. The entire cast and characters were to change.[19]

In March 2017, the series was officially canceled by Cinemax. Kary Antholis, Cinemax's program director, stated that "[d]espite our pride in and affection for the series, as well as our respect for and gratitude towards Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced."[4]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110August 8, 2014 (2014-08-08)October 17, 2014 (2014-10-17)
210October 16, 2015 (2015-10-16)December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)


The cast and crew of The Knick at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards.

The first season of The Knick scored 75 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 37 reviews.[20] The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an 87% critics’ rating with an average rating of 8.3/10 based on 170 reviews. The website consensus reads: "The Knick is sincere, emotional period television that takes a down-to-earth, no-holds-barred approach to vital topics".[21]

After the first season aired, IGN reviewer Matt Fowler gave it an 8.6 out of 10 score, saying "The Knick was impressive, intense television - with fascinating, oft-gruesome topics brought ferociously to the forefront by Soderbergh's adept hand. It was hard to watch at times, both due to gore and pure depressing content, but it was always thought-provoking and incredibly well-rendered."[22] Keith Uhlich of The A.V. Club named the episode "Get the Rope" as his seventh favorite motion picture of 2014.[23]

The second season was scored by Metacritic at 85 out of 100, based on 17 reviews.[24] Rotten Tomatoes gave the second season a 97% approval rating with an average score of 8.55/10 based on 120 reviews, with the critical consensus: "The Knick delivers an addictive second season with stunning visuals, knockout performances, and disturbing moments adding up to a period drama that's anything but dated."[25]


Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
72nd Golden Globe Awards[26] Best Actor – Television Series Drama Clive Owen Nominated
19th Satellite Awards[27] Best Drama Series The Knick Won
Best Actor in a Drama Series Clive Owen Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film Andre Holland Nominated
Best Ensemble Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Jeremy Bobb, Juliet Rylance, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Leon Addison Brown, Grainger Hines, and Matt Frewer Won
Writers Guild of America Awards 2014[28] New Series The Knick Nominated
74th Peabody Awards[29] Peabody Award The Knick Won
67th Primetime Emmy Awards[30] Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Steven Soderbergh for "Method and Madness" Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program Howard Cumming, Henry Dunn, and Regina Graves for "Method and Madness" tied
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series Jerry DeCarlo, Rose Chatterton, Suzy Mazzarese Allison, Victor De Nicola, and Christine Cantrell for "Get the Rope" Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Nicki Ledermann, Stephanie Pasicov, Sunday Englis, Cassandra Saulter, Michael Laudati, and LuAnn Claps for "Method and Madness" Nominated
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or a Special Justin Raleigh, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Kelly Golden, Ozzy Alvarez, Danielle Noe, Bernie Eichholz, Michael Ezell, and Kodai Yoshizawa for "Crutchfield" Nominated
6th Critics' Choice Television Awards[31] Best Drama Series The Knick Nominated
Best Actor in a Drama Series Clive Owen Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Andre Holland Nominated
68th Directors Guild of America Awards[32] Outstanding Directing – Drama Series Steven Soderbergh for "Williams and Walker" Nominated
68th Primetime Emmy Awards[33] Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Steven Soderbergh for "This Is All We Are" Nominated

Home media[edit]

The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on August 11, 2015. The set contains all 10 episodes, plus three audio commentaries by cast and crew, and two-minute behind-the-scenes featurettes for the episodes.[34] The second season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on August 2, 2016. Bonus features include several behind-the-scenes looks at the costumes and sets, including the extravagant ball constructed for the seventh episode, "Williams and Walker", as well as audio commentaries with cast and crew.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "'The Knick' Starring Clive Owen & Directed by Steven Soderbergh to Premiere August 8 on Cinemax" (Press release). Cinemax. July 9, 2014. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  2. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 10, 2014). "Cinemax's 'The Knick' Renewed for Season 2 Ahead of Series Premiere". Variety. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  3. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (July 30, 2015). "'The Knick' Digital Marathon Set; 'Banshee' Creators Considered Fifth Season – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2017). "'The Knick' Canceled After 2 Seasons As Cinemax Focuses On Action Dramas". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 16, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (September 24, 2020). "'The Knick' Returns: Steven Soderbergh Says Barry Jenkins & André Holland Are Plotting A New Season & A Pilot Is Written [Exclusive]". The Playlist. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  6. ^ O'Keffe, Meghan (April 21, 2023). "Andre Holland's 'The Knick' Spin-Off "Still Alive" at HBO, Says 'Perry Mason' EP". Decider. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  7. ^ Jurgensen, John (July 24, 2014). "'The Knick' Portrays Gilded-Age Gore". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  8. ^ Deng, Boer (August 8, 2014). "How Accurate Is The Knick's Take on Medical History?". Slate. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Emmy(R)-Winning Drama Series "The Knick," Directed by Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Winner Steven Soderbergh, And Starring Oscar(R) Nominee Clive Owen, Returns for Its Second Season Oct. 16, Exclusively on Cinemax" (Press release). Cinemax. September 28, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  10. ^ Rich, Katey (October 31, 2015). "The Knick's Jennifer Ferrin on That Harrowing Fever Scene". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  11. ^ Kenneally, Tim (October 3, 2013). "'Steven Soderbergh's Cinemax Series 'The Knick' Adds Newcomer". TheWrap. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen Team Up for New Cinemax Original Series "The Knick"". The Futon Critic (Press release). July 25, 2013. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (August 1, 2014). "The Cocaine, the Blood, the Body Count : Modern Medicine, Circa 1900, in Soderbergh's 'The Knick'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  14. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (August 7, 2014). "No Leeches, No Rusty Saw, But Hell Nonetheless". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Sam, Adams (August 6, 2014). "Steven Soderbergh's 'The Knick' Isn't TV's Future, But It Makes You Feel Good About Its Present". Indiewire. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  16. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (December 18, 2015). "'The Knick': Cinemax Orders Script for Season 3 Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  17. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (December 21, 2015). "Steven Soderbergh Says More 'The Knick' Is Coming, Reveals Rough Plan For Season 3 & Beyond". Indiewire. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  18. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (April 11, 2016). "Steven Soderbergh's 'The Knick' Isn't TV's Future, But It Makes You Feel Good About Its Present". Indiewire. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  19. ^ Barfield, Charles (February 25, 2021). "Steven Soderbergh Updates 'The Knick' Season 3 Progress & Details Original Six-Season Time-Jumping Plan". The Playlist. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  20. ^ "The Knick — Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Knick: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
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  23. ^ "2014 Favorites With Keith Uhlich (Part 1)". The Cinephiliacs. January 4, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
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  27. ^ Pond, Steve (February 16, 2015). "Satellite Awards: Complete Winners List". TheWrap. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
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  29. ^ Holston, Noel (April 14, 2015). "74th Annual Peabody Award Winners". Peabody Awards. Archived from the original on April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  30. ^ "The Knick". Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  31. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (January 17, 2016). "Critics' Choice Awards: TV Winners Include Fargo, Mr. Robot, Master of None, Rachel Bloom and Carrie Coon". TVLine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  32. ^ Kilday, Gregg (February 6, 2016). "2016 DGA Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
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  34. ^ Brown, Kenneth (August 8, 2015). "The Knick: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review". Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  35. ^ Lambert, David (June 21, 2016). "The Knick - HBO's Official Press Release for Cinemax's 'Complete 2nd Season'". Archived from the original on June 26, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.

External links[edit]