Gallery: Farewell ER

Long running series ER finally departs Australian screens this week after 15 seasons, the longest running primetime medical drama in the US.

The NBC series received 24 Emmy nominations, more than any television show in history. It won 23.

The ER phenomenon started as a dusty, 20-year-old, 150-page screenplay that “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton had written based on his own experiences as a medical resident in a busy ER.

Producer Warren Littlefield recalled its genesis.

“We were intrigued,” he told the Hollywood Reporter, “but we were admittedly a bit spooked in attempting to go back into that territory a few years after St. Elsewhere, one of the great dramas in the history of the medium, had left our air. Here we had this screenplay from a very hot author that was very long and dusty and all over the place. And yet at its core there was something quite remarkable about it. There were all of these heroic characters who were very flawed. There was a density to it that was dizzying, But it was memorable.”

Across its life there were numerous TV moments: In Season 1 the County General was faced with a massive highway pile-up; the worst day of Mark Greene’s career when the mother dies from preeclampsia; Jeanie Boulet discovers she has HIV; Doug Ross rescues a boy trapped in a storm drain; Mark and Doug on a road trip to pick up the remains of Doug’s dead, estranged father; a journey into the Congo as Carter tries to recover what he thinks is the body of Luka; the entire hospital racing to save the lives of Lucy and Carter; Doug and Carol Hathaway trapped in an elevator with a dying girl; Ray Liotta plays a dying alcoholic looking back on a lifetime of mistakes; the romance between George Clooney and Julianna Margulies; Benton and Carter’s mentor/protege relationship; a live episode in 1997 and guest stars including Alan Alda, Ed Asner, Rebecca De Mornay, Kirsten Dunst, Sally Field, Hal Holbrook, Bob Newhart, Cynthia Nixon, Stanley Tucci, Forrest Whitaker and James Woods.

The finale airs as a double episode on GO! at 9:35pm Thursday night.


  1. Didn’t this show finish years and years ago, or was I just assuming so because it should have?

    Actually that’s wee bit harsh, this was a “groundbreaking” show in it delivery, and all credit goes to the brilliant Michael Crichton, RIP, and the early actors.

    Just a shame Nine didn’t have the balls to run it, even if it was in regular late night spot.

  2. Nine started stuffing ER around and screwed it over, when Lost took off and was put against it and they didn’t have a 2nd channel (but seeing how Go is screwing over its own first run shows, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference even if Go was around then), but we all saw how Lost’s popularity with Aus viewers, took a huge nosedive after about its 3rd season.

  3. Sigh…..I think my favourite series ever! Quality writing throughout, fantastic acting – great characters. Life just won’t be the same without it – thank goodness for reruns on cable that I can dip into whenever I need an ER fix! Just very thankful that GO finally got to run it consistently for a while.

  4. Great guest stars throughout the entire series’ run — this last episode is no exception featuring Ernest Borgnine in a performance that earned him an Emmy nomination, not bad for a guy in his early 90s.

  5. This final season is about 18 months old, so most Aus ER fans would’ve seen it.
    The show went on about 5 or 6 seasons too long, but did some outstanding work in its first 7 seasons.

  6. When ER started to lose it’s main stars, Clooney, then Edwards and finally Wyle, it sort of just sank, it was still good, but the first five seasons were among the best in history.

  7. i watched every season and every episode and i loved it all. amazing TV and some of the stories were so moving. THe HIV story was quite ground breaking and mark green’s death so sad and i loved towards the end of the series abby lockhart and her arch. great great tv

  8. Don’t forget Alexis Bledel guest stars in the final… for any Gilmore Girls fans out there. Also point of useless info, ER filmed just around the corner on the same Warner backlot as Gilmore Girls in LA.

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