ER said goodbye last night. As you might expect, the two-hour episode was filled with medical drama from start to finish. The faces have certainly changed over the years but castmembers like Scott Grimes, Parminder Nagra, Linda Cardellini, John Stamos, David Lyons, Mekhi Phifer, and Angela Bassett have kept the legacy alive.
Though much of the final episode of ER focuses on personal stories, there are plenty of plenty of references to storylines and characters of days gone by. George Clooney and Julianna Margulies don’t return for the last installment but Eriq La Salle, Laura Innes, Sherry Stringfield, Noah Wyle, and Alex Kingston do. It’s certainly nice to see their faces in the opening credits once again. Rachel Greene (Hallee Hirsh), the daughter of the late Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), returns to help keep her Dad’s memory alive. Longtime minor characters like Haleh (Yvette Freeman), Frank (Troy Evans), Chuney (Laura Ceron), and Jerry (Abraham Benrubi) are also given small moment of their own.
While faithful ER viewers made a point of tuning in, many who watched the show in its heyday weren’t so inclined. An audience of 16.2 million people tuned in to see the last episode. While that’s a significant increase over the usual audience size, its a far cry from the more than 30 million who watched in the show’s heyday. Historically, that places “And in the End…” in 38th place on the list of most-watched series finales, right behind 1997’s Roseanne farewell.
If you missed ER’s swan song and the one-hour retrospective that preceded it, you can see them now.
Image courtesy NBC.