- 15 Seasons
The television series ER began in 1994 on the NBC network. It became the most nominated drama in TV history. ER is also the second longest-running program with 15 seasons. The show's brilliant creators knew how to merge new actors with longtime favorites, which permitted the series to continue its reign as a fan favorite. ERs last episode aired on April 2, 2009. ERs original cast included George Clooney as Dr. Ross, Anthony Edwards as Dr. Greene and Eriq La Salle as Dr. Benton. During the premier episode, Carol Hathaway, a popular nurse played by actress Julianna Margulies, attempts suicide and is admitted to the hospital. The first episode depicted a surprise beginning that immediately hooked the television audience, as viewers were rooting for Nurse Hathaway to live, ensuring strong ratings throughout its run. During the show's second season, actresses Gloria Reuben and Laura Innes joined the cast. After the season's end, the original cast began to leave the show. Sherry Stringfield was the first cast member to depart. Later, in 1999, George Clooney made his exit to begin a successful movie career. However, he never forgot the boost that ER gave his career and returned to the show for two memorable episodes. Each member of the original cast eventually left the show, and creators gradually added new actors and actresses to the series. Television viewers welcomed Goran Visnjic as Dr. Kovac, Maura Tierney as Dr. Lockhart and Linda Cardellini as nurse Taggart. The show's writers allowed the characters to date, marry and have babies with one another. For example, Dr. Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway have a relationship resulting in Carol becoming pregnant with twins. Most of the show's episodes took place within the hospital's emergency room. Also, doctors and nurses used a number of lifesaving tactics during the run of the show. In season six, ER shocked viewers with the murder of Lucy Knight. She is a young medical student played by actress Kellie Martin. The same killer stabs John Carter, one of the show's original cast members who is played by Noah Wylie. With Lucy's death, the show's creators left the viewing audience unsettled as any beloved character could immediately exit ER. TV viewers will enjoy revisiting ER as a number of film stars made their initial acting appearance on the series. With its medical storylines and popular characters, ER is a cherished show that viewers continue to watch and remember fondly.