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ER (TV Series 1994–2009) Poster

(1994–2009)

Trivia

After Laura Innes left the show in January 2007, NBC received some pressure from GLAAD to introduce more LGBT characters.
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During an interview for the PBS series "Pioneers of Television," Noah Wyle said that while filming some of Carter's Africa storyline in the Kalahari Desert, the real on-set medic passed out from the heat, and Wyle (who by that time had been filmed pretending to perform hundreds of simulated medical procedures for the TV show) actually inserted a real IV and hooked the medic up to a real saline drip.
Goran Visnjic named his own character after the writers were unable to develop an appropriately Croatian name. The character is named for Visnjic's nephew (Luka) and his best friend (Kovac).
Doug Ross frequently hung his head low, appearing ashamed or thoughtful or privately amused, depending on the scene. This wasn't just an element of the character: George Clooney had taken to writing his lines on papers, sheets, and other props (especially that complicated medical terminology).
Gloria Reuben (Jeannie Boulet), and Erik Palladino (Dave Malucci) left the show because they felt that their characters were being under-used. Kellie Martin (Lucy Knight) left the series when it became too painful to work in a medical show following the death of her sister.
Producers wanted the character of Carol, played by Julianna Margulies to switch from being a nurse to a doctor and even filmed episodes of her starting medical school. Margulies objected to the idea, saying that her character would be so proud of being a nurse she would never want to change, so the idea was dropped. Years later, the character of Abby, played by Maura Tierney did go from being a nurse to a doctor.
This is the most Emmy-nominated show in television history at 123 nominations.
The entire main cast of the first season also appeared in the fifteenth and final season: Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, George Clooney, Eriq La Salle, Sherry Stringfield, and Julianna Margulies.
If anything had gone wrong during the broadcast of the live episode, such as a technical failure or forgotten dialogue, the producers had additional actors ready to improvise a scene that would have been inserted to cover. This contingency was never used.
In the live broadcast of 1997, the baseball game that George Clooney's character is watching in the break room was the Cubs-Astros game, also being broadcast live that night on WGN.
The basketball hoop found outside the ambulance bay of the ER was actually George Clooney's idea. Apparently the actor likes to unwind in between takes by shooting some hoops. Because this, it was placed in an area of the Warner Brothers (Burbank, California) studio lot where it could be picked up by the camera. It quickly became a part of the series itself.
The first four episodes of the show all began the same way, with one of the doctors being awakened early in the morning from "Exam 8" at the end of the hallway in this order: Greene (Pilot), Lewis (Day One), Benton (Going Home), Carter (Hit and Run). This became a recurring motif throughout the run of the series, and the 200th episode began this way as well. Of the original five doctors, Ross (George Clooney) was the only one who was never shown sleeping in Exam 8.
Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) was supposed to be brain-dead from a suicide attempt in the first episode, but the character was revived for the series. For the first episode, Margulies was credited as a guest star.
Frank, the desk clerk (Troy Evans), always talks about life on the "force" as a Chicago police officer. In the very first episode he had an appearance as a police officer who was shot and treated by the ER staff.
Seasons Seven and Fourteen are the only seasons to not have a cast change.
Out of all the numerous celebrity guest stars on the show, only Sally Field and Ray Liotta have won Emmys for their roles.
Noah Wyle, Laura Innes and Alex Kingston are the only main credited actors to appear with every member of the main cast at one stage or another during the shows 15-year run.
Matthew Watkins, the child who plays Reese Benton, Peter's deaf son, is hearing impaired in real life
The character of Dr. John Carter was named after the protagonist in the classic "John Carter: Man from Mars" pulp sci-fi stories. Michael Crichton, like many sci-fi writers, considers it an early influence.
More performers (31) received Emmy nominations as lead, supporting or guest actors/actresses on this show than did for any other series.
Originally planned as a film, which Steven Spielberg was supposed to direct. When plans fell through and the project eventually became a series, Spielberg became interested in another Michael Crichton creation: Jurassic Park (1993).
Season 14 was supposed to be the final season but the 2007-08 WGA strike left both the producers and NBC without enough episodes to provide a proper final victory lap season. They agreed to bring the show back for the 15th and last season, that began in September 2008 and concluded on April 2, 2009.
Rod Holcomb directed the pilot and the last episode of the show.
Laura Innes and Noah Wyle tied as the series' longest-appearing cast members, having appeared in 13 out of 15 seasons. Innes' Dr. Kerry Weaver made her first appearance in Season 2, stayed on as a regular until the midpoint of Season 13, and appeared in two Season 15 episodes. Wyle's Dr. John Carter was a regular from the start of Season 1, left the regular cast in the Season 11 finale, had a multi-episode guest role in Season 12 (for a story set in Darfur), and returned for several Season 15 episodes. Both actors were in the series finale and had a few scenes together.
Dr. Chen is the only character to repeatedly call Carter by his first name.
George Clooney had his first regular TV role in a comedy ten years earlier called E/R (1984).
The longest running relationship on the show was between Luka and Abby.
Although mostly shot at Warner Brother's Burbank soundstages, the cast and crew usually will make at least two trips to Chicago each season to shoot realistic exterior scenes for several episodes which include many familiar Chicago landmarks. These scenes are normally shot on early Sunday mornings to avoid disrupting traffic.
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George Clooney's cousin, Miguel Ferrer, appeared as a guest star in the two-hour pilot episode, and Clooney's aunt, Rosemary Clooney (Ferrer's mother), appeared in the second regular episode. Clooney shared scenes with neither of them.
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Noah Wyle was the last member of the original cast to leave, at the end of the 2004-2005 season. He will appear occasionally in future seasons. Sherry Stringfield is also an original cast member, but she left for 5 seasons, which made Noah Wyle the only cast member to be on the show every year for the series first eleven seasons.
Some of the operations in the series were dramatized versions of real-life operations. The writers scouted out hospitals around the L.A. area to get ideas for new episodes. An early episode, in which a baby gets a coat hanger stuck in it's throat, was based off a real emergency in a Los Angeles hospital. However, the situation was dramatized by adding a scene where the baby bleeds profusely, and requires a tracheotomy (in real life, they simply reached in and pulled the hanger out).
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In 2007, this show tied with Cheers (1982) for being the most Emmy-nominated show ever with 117 nominations.
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Julianna Margulies originally read for the part of Dr Mark Greene's wife.
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All original cast members who appeared in Season 15 were listed in the credits with the current stars, not as guest appearances. Alex Kingston and Laura Innes also appeared in the opening credits to the series finale due to their roles in it. In the 2009 episode guest starring George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, Noah Wyle received top billing over both of them.
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In one episode, Dr. Lewis admits that she's only familiar with the Walt Whitman poem "I Sing the Body Electric" because it appeared in song form in the movie Fame (1980). That song in that film was sung by Paul McCrane (Dr. Romano).
Dr. Carter's date of birth is 4 June 1970. Noah Wyle's in 4 June 1971.
Casting director John Frank Levey originally suggested Michael Beach for the role of Dr. Peter Benton. John Wells felt Beach didn't complete the ensemble and chose Eriq La Salle instead. Beach eventually appeared on ER as Al Boulet. Beach would also later be cast as a regular Third Watch (1999), another Wells-produced series.
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Due to a lack of time and money to build a set, the pilot episode of ER was filmed in the former Linda Vista Community Hospital in Los Angeles, an old facility that ceased operating as a medical center in 1990.
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When the show debuted in 1994 it won the People's Choice Award for 'Favorite Dramatic Series' every year until 2002. It has also won the George Foster Peabody Award.
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The character played by Ming-Na Wen was addressed only as Deborah Chen when she first appeared in the series in 1995. When she returned in 2000, she took to a more traditional name, Jing-Mei, which was also the name of the character Ming-Na played in The Joy Luck Club (1993).
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The set for the pilot episode was a rundown hospital in East Los Angeles, as they couldn't afford to build a proper set of their own. As the rooms were quite small, this necessitated the use of the Steadicam, which has since become the trademark of the show. Real members of the public, usually Punk gangs, would often pull up outside, mistaking the set for the real thing.
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In the novel written by Michael Crichton, Dr. Lewis is a man and Dr. Benton is not African-American.
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The very first person to appear on-screen in the first episode is Anthony Edwards
Glenne Headly was pregnant when she signed on to do her story arc as Dr Abby Keaton in the third season. Originally the writers floated the idea of writing the pregnancy into the show but then decided that audiences would have difficulty accepting John Carter having a relationship with a heavily pregnant woman. In the later stages, Headly had to be photographed behind gurneys and in ill-fitting surgical scrubs to hide her bump.
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Throughout its 15-year run, the show had 26 regular cast members, 19 of whom appeared in the final season at one point or another.
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Sissy Spacek was originally cast as Dr. Weaver's mother, but was eventually played by Frances Fisher in episode "Just as I Am" (2005)
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The first six DVD box sets of ER are unusual in the fact that they are all in anamorphic widescreen even though these episodes were broadcast in a standard 4:3 format. Only the live episode "Ambush" is not in the widescreen format.
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The helicopter used for ER actually belongs to the University of Chicago Hospital.
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Because the show could make only a couple of location shoots in Chicago each year, the exterior scenes would often have to be filmed in advance of the rest of the episode's shoot back in LA. Sometimes a scene for an episode would have to be shot before it was even written. A famous example of this is the final scene in "Love's Labor Lost," when Dr. Greene cries on the EL. Director Mimi Leder could only give Anthony Edwards a brief description of what was to occur and told him to "find it," "it" being the sadness Greene was experiencing.
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Of all the major characters, only Sherry Stringfield and Sharif Atkins have never been shown as patients in the ER.
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Abby is the only character to have been both a nurse and a doctor.
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Vondie Curtis-Hall appeared on the show as two characters. In season one he played a transsexual (for which he was nominated for an Emmy) and in later episodes played Carla's husband and fought Dr. Benton for custody of his son, Reese.
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Including Gloria Reuben and CCH Pounder (who appeared as recurring guest stars during the first season), the original cast combined for 25 nominations in the Leading and Supporting Acting categories at the Emmy Awards from 1995-2000. Julianna Margulies (Best Supporting Actress, 1995) was the only one to ever win.
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The characters of Luka and Abby lasted longer than the characters they replaced (Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway).
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Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) has a model of an Apollo Saturn V rocket in the background of his office. McCrane played astronaut Charles Conrad, commander of Apollo 12, in the HBO mini-series _"From the Earth to the Moon" (1998) (mini)_
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In the episode where Dr. Romano is showing his prosthetic arm to the staff at the desk, one of the other doctors refers to him as "Robodoc". Paul McCrane played one of the bad guys in RoboCop (1987).
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This is NBC's second longest-running drama (after Law & Order (1990)), and, at 15 seasons, it's the longest-running American primetime medical drama.
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The first and last episodes of the series are the only two to not air at 10:00 during the shows fifteen year run.
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The character portrayed by Leslie Bibb, Erin Harkins, was originally supposed to die in the episode where she and Luka (Goran Visnjic) were in a car accident. The producers changed their mind after the episode had been written, and after an ambiguous ending, she resurfaced a couple of episodes later, alive and well.
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Anthony Edwards was first choice to play the part of Dr Mark Greene. Unfortunately Edwards was committed to direct a feature film at the time the pilot was due to shoot and was therefore unavailable. By sheer luck, his feature was pushed back and he was able to film the pilot instead.
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Lisa Zane tested for the part of Dr Susan Lewis. She would later play a love interest for George Clooney's character.
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By season 13, Laura Innes became the longest running cast member of the show.
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Author Michael Crichton wrote the script for the pilot episode and it remained unchanged when he wrote it 20 years earlier.
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Sherry Stringfield is the only cast member to leave and return to the show. Ming-Na Wen had a recurring role in season one but came back in season six.
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After the show premiered on September 19, 1994, it has aired on Thursday nights at 10:00 for its entire run.
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Alex Kingston announced in an interview in 2004 that her contract to return for an eighth year on the show was not renewed. She said she was told plots for her character had "run their course".
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Anthony Edwards, Paul McCrane, Laura Innes, and Eriq La Salle are the only cast members to direct episodes throughout the shows fifteen season run.
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Lt. Sandy Lopez (Lisa Vidal) was the first lesbian Latina primary or secondary character on a TV series.
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Because the original credits were abandoned in season 13, neither Maura Tierney or Parminder Nagra were seen with the "Starring" moniker attached to their name, although they were each the lead roles for a time. John Stamos, Angela Bassett, and David Lyons were depicted in the opening credits just once, when the original style was brought back for the series finale
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The registration number of the hospital helicopter is N365UC.
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Mary McDonnell (Carter's Mother) was also in the sitcom E/R (1984) with George Clooney.
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Michael Crichton's original script took place in Boston Memorial Hospital. Dr. Mark Greene was "Richie Greene" in this version, and Dr. Susan Lewis was "Beth Lewis."
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Troy Evans, who would later play desk clerk Frank Martin appeared in the pilot as a character referred to as Officer Martin. In scripts, the first name was Jonathan. There was never any indication given in the show if this is the same character and as of the series finale, producers would not speculate either.
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One of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg's favorite films is Lawrence of Arabia (1962). The cast of this series has included Alex Kingston, whose ex-husband Ralph Fiennes played Lawrence in Great Performances: A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992). Also appearing on the series were Miguel Ferrer, Rosemary Clooney and George Clooney, the son, ex-wife and nephew, respectively, of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) cast member José Ferrer.
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Abby's middle name is Marjorie.
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Drs. Mark Green and Elizabeth Corday lived at 1211 Dupont Drive.
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George Clooney's character was originally going to be called Tom Ross, and Julianna Margulies was going to be called Barb Hathaway.
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Carter's full name is John Truman Carter III.
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Justina Machado makes a guest appearance here as the sister of a gangbanger. She would return to the series 11 years later in its final season to play the girlfriend of Dr Archie Morris.
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Dr. Ray Barnett's band is called "Skunk Hollow"
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Troy Evans (Frank Martin) was a police officer in E.R initally before becoming the desk clerk. He also played a police officer in Halloween 4 which was also set in the state of Illinois. Chicago in E.R and Hattonfield in Halloween respectively.
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Abby's full name is Abigail Wyczenski Lockhart
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