Three Rivers

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Three Rivers TV Poster Image
Medical drama has strong messages about organ donation.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series has strong pro-organ donation messages. While some people’s reasons for not donating their own or their loved ones organs are explored, the pressure to donate is always there.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The transplant doctors and assistants are all committed to saving their patients’ lives, even if it means working around the clock and putting themselves at risk to do so.


Potential donors are often shown losing their lives in accidents, shootings, and other tragic events. Guns and gunshot wounds are sometimes visible. Images of surgical procedures are often graphic, showing bloody tissue and various organs.


Language includes words like “ass” and “hell."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to illegal drug use, as well as countless references to drugs associated with organ transplants.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dramatic medical series focuses on organ transplants. The message is decidedly pro-organ donation, but it does explore some of the reasons why people do not donate. Potential donors are shown losing their lives (guns and bloody wounds are sometimes shown). Many of the surgical scenes are extremely graphic (blood, human tissue and organs are clearly visible). Strong words like “ass” and “hell” are audible. It also contains references to illegal drug use. Groups affiliated with organ donation, including the Angel Network, are mentioned. The overall show may be overwhelming to younger and/or more sensitive viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byTsion October 5, 2009

Not a Good Show...

That isn't to say that this is an awful show. It is a decent thing to watch to fill up time. However, it is definitely not a show I'm going to follo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCowtails November 18, 2009

Three rivers at it's best

This is the first medical show series that I'm starting to get into and I love it. The last episode was so sad that I was literally crying all three river... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 12, 2009
surgery scenes are little bit intense. It includes doctor holding organs while doing surgery. Other than that, it's pretty clean.

What's the story?

THREE RIVERS stars Alex O'Loughlin as Andy Yablonski, Three Rivers Hospital’s most talented, dedicated organ transplant surgeon. He leads an expert team of medical professionals, including high-strung but talented Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig), womanizing surgical resident Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney), reporter-turned-transplant coordinator Ryan Abott (Christopher J. Hanke), and operating assistant Pam Acosta (Justina Machado). Overseeing it all is Dr. Sophia Jordon (Alfre Woodard), the no-nonsense head of surgery. Together the team races against time to find compatible donors and navigate their way through both medical politics and any resistance from donors' loved ones in order to deliver and successfully transplant the organs they need to save their patients.

Is it any good?

Three Rivers explores how organs go from donor to recipient, showing some of the red tape that medical professionals must cut through in order to successfully harvest, deliver, and transplant organs in time to save people’s lives. It also explores some of the fears that people have about donating their loved ones' organs -- like eliminating the donor’s chance of survival or violating personal and/or religious beliefs.

While some of the doctors' unique personalities and private issues surface throughout the show, most of its entertainment value comes from the never-ending professional and personal dilemmas associated with transplant surgery. As a result, some viewers may find it a little too distressing to watch. Others may have difficulty with its decidedly pro-organ donation message. But for medical drama enthusiasts, Three Rivers will be sure to please.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this show compares to other medical dramas. Does the organ donation focus set it apart? Is it as violent/intense as similar shows?

  • What are some of the reasons the show offers in support of organ donation? What are some of the arguments against it? Why do some cultures and/or religions ban organ donation?

  • Where can people get more information about organ donation?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

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