During Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) on 1 Feb. 2004, a storm of controversy erupted over the halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. When the episode ER (1994) episode "Touch and Go" was set to first air on 5 Feb., the episode was under a scrutiny over the fact that it would featured an elderly woman's bare breasts. In light of all the media attention, the episode aired with the woman's breasts obscured. However, the episode continues to air in re-runs and syndication in its uncensored form.
A way to determine the difference between time zone broadcasts of the 1997 live episode is to look at the scene with the man on the gurney who loses it and threatens people with a scalpel. In the east coast broadcast seen by most of the country, the scene went as scripted. In the second broadcast, the man accidentally knocks the instruments off the table and recovered by holding out his arms to keep the others away, still in character.
All episodes before "The Visit" (airdate: 16 November 2000) were shot and broadcast in the standard television aspect ratio of 1.33:1. All subsequent episodes are done in the HDTV ratio of 1.78:1. However, the DVD collection has reformatted versions of all the early season episodes in 1.78:1. They went back to the original negatives and "matted" off the top and bottom parts of the screen, but gained visuals on the left ands right sides that were never seen before .
A couple of other noticeable differences between the two live broadcasts: Eriq La Salle's character stumbles and drops something out of his pocket in one version, and George Clooney's "neck cracking" gag elicits a startled response (and makes a louder sound) in the first version.