When it launched last year, Showtime targeted much of Nurse Jackie's marketing campaign at medical professionals. The network reaffirmed that commitment at Gotham Hall last Thursday with the Nurse Jackie RX Games, a media kickoff and friendly competition between 15 teams of nurses and nursing students to promote this week's second-season premiere.
Showtime's senior vice president of media, promotions, and partnership marketing, George DeBolt, spearheaded the event, with help from producers Interference Inc. and Stuart Weissman Productions, in hopes of combining consumer and media promotions while cast members were in one place. “We had dual goals of getting buzz for the second season of Nurse Jackie, as well as getting visibility among our consumers,“ said DeBolt, “particularly the health care professionals who represent 22 percent of the show's fan base.”
Health care professionals were clearly the focus of the night, as each of the tournament's activities had a medical twist. Events were designed to test the five qualities deemed necessary to nursing—speed, stamina, strength, endurance, and concentration—and played on an aspect of the nursing profession. One event, Push Through the Pain, required participants to deliver giant pills to the other side of the room while strapped to a bungee cord.
Gotham Hall, chosen for its Colosseum atmosphere, was set up like an arena, with bleachers on either side of the games. Each of the 15 teams competed in four events set up in the middle of the hall, and the three teams with the lowest combined time moved on to the final event, the gurney race. The team that placed first in the final race won $10,000 to split amongst themselves as well as $50,000 for their preferred charity, the American Cancer Society. Star Edie Falco and the rest of the Nurse Jackie cast presented them with their prize at the end of the night.