While a film crew is filming in the ER, it's Elizabeth Corday's first day.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Aggie Orton
Bite Victim's Father
Jessie Nelson ...
Bite Victim's Mother


The ER staff finds itself under the lights when a camera crew films them for a PBS documentary. Most are self-conscious with cameras following them around and some are unaware or forget that there are fixed cameras and that they are miked leading to interesting exchanges. The documentary focuses primarily on Mark Greene, who is still recovering from the beating he suffered in the hospital washroom, but he doesn't want to be depicted as a poor soul deserving of public sympathy. An accident victim's family causes a near riot in the ER. Dr. David Morgenstern has a heart attack. Elizabeth Corday arrives for her first shift at County General. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

live television | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

25 September 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jesse Borrego, who plays an HIV-positive patient would return to the ER in Season 14 as desk clerk, Javier. See more »


The live episode was performed twice, and each contained a few minor mistakes, which we report for interest's sake (though ordinarily they would probably not be allowed as goofs). For example, in one performance the actor playing an HIV+ patient accidentally loses his weapon; in another scene, Dr. Benton stumbles, dropping a pen on the floor. See more »


George: You'll get a lot of thank-yous from the female population over at Riverview. I don't wanna brag, but...
Dr. John Carter: Yeah? You a pretty popular guy over there?
George: Well, I seem to be... I never was much of a Casanova in my day. I didn't go in for all the wild positions and so forth. Ladies need that, all the positions.
Dr. John Carter: So I've heard.
George: And the sweet talk. I was never much for that either. I was mostly meat and potatoes. But now, I'm 82, I'm a man, I'm breathing. The odds are 12-to-1 in my favor. I'm getting it ...
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Referenced in Hang Time: Love on the Rockies (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

22 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love live TV scripted drama and Ambush was incredible to watch. It was a live episode of ER, the season 4 opener. It was directed by Thomas Schlamme, who is married to Christine Lahti, who coincidentally was starring in Chicago Hope at the same time, a rival medical drama which some say was better (well the first season at least) than ER (not the 1980s comedy version that featured George Clooney ironically).

All credit to the cast and crew for wanting to go live, and they performed the episode live for the East Coast and West Coast audiences. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if there would be any bloopers.

This live episode must rank with the Drew Carey live episode.

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