'Rookie Blue's' Eric Johnson checks into Steven Soderbergh's Cinemax hospital drama

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One of the cops of "Rookie Blue" is taking up medicine. On the home screen, at least.

Eric Johnson, currently seen on the Canadian-made ABC police drama on a recurring basis as Detective Luke Callaghan -- ex-fiance of Officer Andy McNally ( Missy Peregrym) -- has been cast in "The Knick," an upcoming Cinemax medical series with an impressive pedigree.

Also an executive producer of the show, "Traffic" Oscar winner and current "Behind the Candelabra" Emmy nominee Steven Soderbergh will direct the entire first season of the drama about a New York hospital at the start of the 20th century, when treatment methods were relatively primitive and regularly tested doctors' skills.

Johnson will play one such medic who works under Knickerbocker Hospital's chief surgeon ( Clive Owen, in his first TV acting since his Emmy nomination last year for HBO's "Hemingway & Gellhorn").

Slated for a 2014 debut, "The Knick" marks a broadening of Cinemax's original programming, which largely has been driven by such action-oriented fare as "Strike Back" (now in its third season on Fridays), "Banshee" and Melissa George's short-lived "Hunted."

Though Johnson isn't in Thursday's (Aug. 22) new "Rookie Blue" story, he'll be back in the season's final three episodes starting Aug. 29. His job on "The Knick" won't necessarily preclude him from returning again as Luke in next year's Season 5, particularly since "Rookie Blue" doesn't resume filming until January.

Formerly a TV  "Flash Gordon" and a first-year regular on "Smallville," Johnson also has appeared lately on "Orphan Black" and "Criminal Minds." He recently told Zap2it he has found his career "a tremendous learning experience."

"Not that it hasn't had its bumps, where maybe your confidence is a little rocked at times, but it really is a maturation. I've been lucky enough to do this for over 20 years, and it's definitely serious, adult business now."
Photo/Video credit: Entertainment One
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