NBC Hospital Drama Shoots Rescue Scene In County Park

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CRANFORD—Between the rescue helicopter hovering just above the treetops, all the emergency vehicles with their lights flashing, and the platoons of police officers and firefighters making their way into the woods at Union County’s Nomahegan Park in Cranford, it sure looked as if something big was happening.

And on some Wednesday night weeks from now, it probably will look very real when the episode of the hospital drama, “Mercy,” airs on NBC. The new medical drama focuses on the staff at Mercy Hospital as seen through the eyes of the hospital’s nurses.

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While areas in Union County’s parks have been used for commercials and some movies, the shooting of a TV episode does not happen all that often, according to parks officials.

But given what was required to set the stage for this television episode—a little boy wanders off in a woods and falls into an ice-covered pond—an area on the eastern side of Nomahegan, just off Park Drive, provided the perfect location.

While the scene was expected to take upwards of 10 hours to shoot, once edited the park scene may run less than three minutes. Yet even for that, there was a production crew of nearly 75 on hand on a recent Tuesday, with an additional 70 actors and others involved in the production.

“Mercy” is shot on a soundstage in Secaucus. However, location shoots have also included sites in Jersey City, Newark, Passaic and West Orange.
But the Nomahegan shoot will likely be one the crew long remembers as they bundled up like mummies to make it through the day. While the thermometer was reading 31 degrees, the sustained 18 mph winds made it feel like 19.

At one point, one staffer carried a box filled with cups of soup around to the crew to help them warm up.  And standing by was a tour bus where some could occasionally retreat to escape the cold.

HOVERING JUST ABOVE…the treetops is a “search and rescue” helicopter that was part of a recent episode of the TV medical drama “Mercy”  filmed in Union County’s Nomahegan Park.  In the episode, a little boy wanders away in the woods and falls into an icy lake.

THE SEARCH IS OVER…the actors who portrayed police looking for a lost boy leave a section of woods in Union County’s Nomahegan Park.  The scene was filmed for an episode of the NBC medical drama “Mercy” and will likely be aired after the Olympics.

AT FIRST GLANCE…it may look like one of Cranford’s police officers has parked near the lake in Union County’s Nomahegan Park.  But the squad car, which reads “Jersey Police,” was one of the props in an episode of the NBC medical drama “Mercy” that was filmed recently in the park.

GETTING EQUIPMENT READY…for the next scene change, the crew from NBC’s medical drama “Mercy” get equipment into position for the upcoming shoot.  Many of the crew were bundled like mummies to endure the day outside in the cold as the various scenes were shot.  The day’s shoot was expected to be edited to less than three minutes.


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