In essentially a rerun of last year’s story, it looks like ER is going to dodge the cancellation bullet yet again. There were big plans for the current season to be the show’s last but, because of the writers strike work stoppage, that didn’t happen. Though it’s been averaging only 9.5 million viewers this season, it looks like NBC’s venerable medical drama will be back for another year and a proper send-off.
The return wouldn’t come without a price however. As part of the deal, NBC would get a discount on the licensing fees it pays to Warner Bros TV. Upon completion of six post-strike episodes, it’s expected that the cast and crew will immediately film four episodes for season 15. It’s not known how many total installments would be ordered for 2008-09.
If there is a season 15, who will be back? Most of the regular cast have been signed to multiple year deals so there wouldn’t be much turnover.
Maura Tierney had said that the 14th season would be her last but will likely stay until the very end. When the show is over, Tierney knows how she’d like to go out. She jokingly says, “I have big clown shoes on and a big clown nose and I’m walking through the ER doors.”
John Stamos will also be sticking around. After his Jake in Progress bit the dust, the former Full House star is enjoying his time in the emergency room. In January, the actor said, “It’s just as powerful as almost anything on television right now. Each week there’s a story that’s new and fresh.”
Two actors are joining the series late this season and at least one may continue on to the next. Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) has signed on for three episodes as a car accident victim while Australian actor David Lyons is in talks to play a handsome and conscience-challenged new doctor.
Once again, producers are hoping to lure some past castmembers back for a visit to County General. Noah Wyle is booked for four episodes and Goran Visnjic (who’s leaving this season) is also expected to return for a guest spot. The producers have mentioned Julianna Margulies and, based on the initial ratings of Canterbury’s Law, she may certainly be available.
They’d also like to get George Clooney back for an ER visit but the Oscar-winner says it’s not going to happen. “No one’s ever called me or asked me,” Clooney told The Insider. “I don’t think there’s any chance. It’s sort of tricky to bring everybody back, you know. We’re all old and gray now.”
Executive producer David Zabel jokes that he’d even like to see Anthony Edwards as the late Dr. Greene back in scrubs, saying, “That’s a little tricky, but there are ways to do it that we’ve thought about. Even if it were like a lost episode from 1996 featuring him and Wyle.” Stay tuned!