“E.R.” has the distinction of being the longest running medical drama series on primetime television, airing from 1994 to 2009. The show was created by best-selling author Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park”) and was often described as a TV show with a movie feel, offering a different flair for those who loved watching the small screen. This would be the show that would make George Clooney a household name. Read on for more about “E.R.”
Twenty years ago, five shows debuted on network television that created a lasting impact with viewers. As we begin Fall TV 2014, let’s take a look back at these classics in our flashback to Fall TV 1994.
By and large, “E.R.” was not the first quality medical drama to air on television, but it showed something different. It showed viewers something that wasn’t seen on television before: actual, almost realistic shots of how a hospital’s trauma staff in the emergency room actually deal with emergency cases.
Its approach was direct. There was a thrill to watching actors playing doctors and nurses do their work, amidst the chaos, the screams, the crying and the bleeding, as if they were in a real hospital. The drama and the tension between characters, on the other hand, were also expertly presented, touching on intense storylines like death, diseases, rape, sex, abortion, incest, abuse and psychological problems.
For a while, “E.R.” retained this quality, until eventually, the original stars of the show left the series. After the sixth or seventh season, the show went through a series of cast changes that it almost felt like a completely different hospital series. Yet, it managed to stay on air and high up in the ratings for many more years.
“E.R.” was not only a viewer favorite. It was also loved by critics and awards shows that it even managed to win the George Foster Peabody Award in 1995, which was a rare honor for a television program. To date, the show remains the most nominated drama series in television’s history.
— ER Fan Forum (@ERFanForum) September 15, 2014
Where Are They Now: The Stars of “E.R.”
- Anthony Edwards did “Zero Hour” for ABC last 2013. The show, however, lasted one season only.
- George Clooney went on to launch a successful movie career, playing “Batman” and becoming an Academy Award-nominee. He’s also a well-known philanthropist.
- Sherry Stringfield was in various TV-movie projects. She’s currently in the cast of “Under the Dome.”
- Noah Wyle went on to star in “Falling Skies” and will soon headline “The Librarians” on TNT.
- Eriq La Salle was last seen in the CBS drama “A Gifted Man” in 2012.
- Julianna Margulies stars in critically praised political drama “The Good Wife” on CBS.
- Kellie Martin was on Lifetime’s “Army Wives” and guest starred in the recent season of “Mad Men” on AMC. She was also in “Satisfaction” on USA Network.
- Maura Tierney became part of the FX drama “Rescue Me” and reunited with her “E.R.” co-star Juliana Margulies on “The Good Wife,” where she guest starred. She will soon be seen in the Showtime series “The Affair.”
- John Stamos was already popular on TV before joining “E.R.” — thanks to “Full House.” There are talks about a revival to the series, with Stamos also taking an active part.
- Ming Na Wen was in “Two and A Half Men” and “Eureka.” She’s also part of “Marvel’s Agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC.
- Goran Višnjić is part of the cast of “Extant,” the CBS summer science fiction series.
- Angela Bassett returned to doing TV by joining “American Horror Story.”
- Shane West was in “Nikita” and is currently starring in WGN’s “Salem.”
The show also starred Gloria Reuben, Laura Innes, Maria Bello, Alex Kingston, Paul McCrane, Michael Michele, Erik Palladino, Sharif Atkins, Mekhi Phifer, Parminder Nagra, Linda Cardellini, Scott Grimes and David Lyons.
Were you able to follow “E.R.” for fifteen seasons? What were some of the highlights for you? What do you think about the way it made medical drama so believable and exciting? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Angela George