She's not a doctor; she just plays one on television. But in real life, she has the "role" of Meryl Streep's eldest daughter.

Mamie Gummer depicted the world of medicine last year in ABC's "Off the Map," and she takes an offbeat slant on it again as The CW premieres the seriocomic "Emily Owens, M.D." Tuesday at 9 p.m. Gummer's title character, a recent medical-school graduate, is alarmed that the themes of her insecurity-ridden youth apparently are repeating themselves at the Denver hospital that employs her . . . along with her former crush (Justin Hartley, "Smallville") and an old enemy (Aja Naomi King).

"I'm getting a lot of questions like, 'What was high school like for you?' " Gummer muses. "I've kind of blocked it out, but a good friend affectionately reminded me that, yes, I was a dork. I was not a cool kid in high school."

The fictional Emily certainly isn't cool, either, which is why Gummer finds her endearing.

"She's a human being," Gummer, 29, says. "She kind of trips and falls down, but she gets back up, and you want the best for her. It's a lot of fun to have license to slip up, and it's funny because she is so together in some areas of her life. She's really good at her job, and that's really clear. It's just all the other stuff where she falters a bit."

While having a mother who's a three-time Oscar winner, Gummer doesn't have a sense of standing in anyone's shadow.

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"I feel like I've been the star of my own show for a while now," says Gummer, who also has done New York stage work in productions of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" and "Uncle Vanya." "I was always putting on shows as a kid, and obviously, my household was really creative. My parents both really supported it.

"I just liked it so much, I kept doing it and doing it, then I was at drama school doing it. Then I graduated, and all of a sudden, I was a person in the world doing it for real."