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September 3, 2015


Seven new characters that worked

by Kelly Woo, posted Sep 30th 2008 2:01PM
Amy RyanThe genius that was Amy Ryan's Holly beatboxing on The Office last week got me thinking about other cast additions that have made shows better.

The first that came to mind was actually another Amy Ryan role -- Beadie on season two of The Wire. It took awhile for me to get into the whole dockworkers storyline, but it was Beadie that helped me through.

If a show plans to stay on air for awhile, it needs fresh blood -- but the process of introducing new characters isn't easy (witness how reviled Maya was on Heroes). The best new additions combine great actors with well-written characters.

Here are seven other (fairly recent) new characters that succeeded.

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Greg Pratt's fate on ER -- too soon?

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 29th 2008 1:07PM

Greg Pratt -- Too soon to go?We all know that ER is famous for its deaths. Not only of the patients that are served by Chicago's County General but of its staff as well. Particularly in its emergency room. Fact of the matter is, there have been so many deaths of ER personnel that I'm surprised that a police investigation hasn't been opened to determined if they were natural or a bit suspicious. Some of these deaths have been shocking, such as Lucy Knight's during season six. Others were long in coming, like Mark Greene's peaceful death in season 8.

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Casting scoop: George Clooney, William Fichtner and more

by Thomas DiChiara, posted Sep 23rd 2008 6:00PM
George ClooneyLet's get the bad/obvious news out of the way first: Despite what ER showrunner David Zabel told TV Guide in a recent interview, George Clooney will not -- repeat NOT -- be returning to the show for it's 15th and final season.

According to Clooney's publicist, "He is on record as saying he is not coming back. It is something he has already done. He is busy making movies." If you're an optimist, though, you can always hope for a surprise Clooney return a la the 2000 ER season finale, in which Georgie showed up at the very end of Julianna Margulies' farewell ep.

On a more positive note, there are plenty of actors who ARE joining popular existing series or are attached to promising upcoming projects. A rundown of these casting coups ensues.

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How ER plans to get George Clooney back

by Kelly Woo, posted Sep 22nd 2008 3:19PM
With this being the final season of ER, the show naturally wants to bring back some of its old stars for cameos. George Clooney is the big fish to land, of course, and producers say they've got a juicy storyline to lure him in.

Showrunner David Zabel told TV Guide, "We have a really good story line for every [major] character from the past to show [the actors] what we want to do."

Anthony Edwards is already on board to appear in flashbacks on the Nov. 13 episode (since his character, Dr. Greene, is dead), along with Paul McCrane (Dr. Romano) and Laura Innes (Dr. Weaver). Noah Wyle will guest star in four episodes, and Alex Kingston may show up as Dr. Corday.

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Anthony Edwards returning to ER (!)

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 4th 2008 2:24PM
Anthony EdwardsRemember a while back when we talked about this being the last season of ER and producers were trying to get old cast members to come back for an episode of the show and we joked that they should find a way to get Anthony Edwards back on the show for an episode even though his character died?

The producers have Anthony Edwards coming back to the show for an episode even though his character died.

You can probably guess how Dr. Mark Greene will be coming back. He hasn't been kept alive by some mysterious millionaire in a mountain hideout all these years (though I would happily swallow such a soap opera-ish plot because I never thought they should have killed off Mark in the first place), the character will actually be seen in new flashbacks that have something to do with a new character played by Angela Bassett (this won't be footage from past episodes, they're new flashbacks to events we didn't see on the show before).

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Courtney B. Vance joins his wife on ER

by Kona Gallagher, posted Aug 20th 2008 12:28PM
angela bassett courtney b vanceOkay, I'm not a doctor (surprising, I know), so maybe if you are a doctor, and your most recent medical experience is tsunami relief in Indonesia, maybe moving to County General doesn't seem so bad. Sure, it gets blown up occasionally, gunfire breaks out often, and maybe you may get taken hostage and/or stabbed by a crazy patient or two. But here's my question: Would you tell your spouse to work there too?

Apparently Angela Bassett would. Bassett, who is joining the cast of ER as a "troubled" new attending, is bringing her husband along with her. Courtney B. Vance, who spent five seasons on NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent as ADA Ron Carver, is also joining the cast. Vance will be playing another attending physician an the on-screen husband of his real-life wife on a recurring basis. While I'm sure that the set of ER is a perfectly safe place for Vance, I'm highly worried about the fate of his character.

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Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy may be banned in Italy

by Kona Gallagher, posted Aug 20th 2008 11:40AM
George ClooneyI used to be a huge ER fan. Back in the good ol' Dr. Doug Ross days, I wouldn't miss an episode. It was the first medical drama that I had ever really watched, and I paid attention to it like I was watching an educational video in med school.

This came in handy several years back when I was on a flight to Scotland. It was a long flight and I was trying to sleep when I heard a commotion. A middle-aged man a few rows ahead of me appeared to be choking. However, it quickly became apparent that he was having an allergic reaction that was causing his throat to close up. It was bad news all around, but luckily, there had been an episode of ER that dealt with a very similar situation. So what did I do? I grabbed a pen, took it apart, and jammed the tube into his throat, opening his airway and saving his life. True story.

Okay, none of that actually happened -- because HOSPITAL SHOWS ARE NOT REAL. Apparently, however, Italy doesn't think its residents understand this.

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TV Squad presents the 2008-09 fall schedule

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 5th 2008 1:20PM

The cast of Fringe, the new FOX drama premiering in SeptemberIt's coming. The table is set, the players are on the field, the sails are raised, and the pretty maids are all in a row. Of course, I speak of the 2008-09 television schedule. In just a few short weeks viewers will be able to dine on a number of favorite and new dishes that are being served by the networks as well as the increasing number of cable channels who are delving into original programming.

While other fall seasons have come and gone with nary a whimper, this season may be different. Due to the prolonged Writers Strike many shows ended their seasons quite early. Programs like Life, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, and Heroes haven't aired original episodes since the end of 2007. Heck, there hasn't been a new episode of The Shield since June of last year! So, the beginning of the 2008-09 season will be a second chance for some of these shows, particularly the ones that premiered last season, to show their worth to fans and the networks.

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Who will die in ER's final season?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 23rd 2008 3:38PM


This originally was going to be yet another post on how George Clooney might come back to ER one last time in the final season of the show (executive producer John Wells says he hasn't asked him yet). But we've been back and forth on that so many times that we really don't know what's going to happen. However, TV critic Terry Morrow did ask Wells if any characters on the show would be killed off in the show's last season, and Wells says that yes, at least one person on ER will die before the show ends. He didn't, however, say whether it's a current cast member or if it's someone new that will be introduced this season.

So assuming that it's a character we already know, who do you think it should be? After the jump, a poll. Should a helicopter fall on Morris? How about Neela getting shot by a patient? Maybe an explosion in the emergency room can kill everyone except Frank? Are they bringing Noah Wyle back just to kill him with a Sno-Cone machine?

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GLAAD praises ABC and FX, but gives NBC and FOX the big fail

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jul 14th 2008 7:01PM
Brothers & Sisters Wedding Kevin ScottyIncluding gay characters on your TV show is good, unless it's two lesbians who fall in love with a straight man, as they do in a storyline on New Amsterdam. FOX learned that the hard way when they received a failing grade from GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) on their second annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index. The index measures the "quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television."

Even though GLAAD gave FOX a failing grade, the network's cable counterpart, FX, received top honors for cable channels. The advocacy group praised them for including the most original programming that featured members LGBT community. Special notice was given to Nip/Tuck, which had a gay, lesbian, or bisexual character in every episode. Rescue Me's commitment ceremony storyline was also viewed favorably by the group.

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Giveaway Monday: ER - Season Nine DVD

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 14th 2008 9:03AM
er season 9Hey everyone! This time we've got three copies of ER - Season Nine on DVD for three lucky, random commenters. The DVD is already available in stores.

To enter, leave a comment below before 5:00PM Eastern, Friday, July 18 simply telling why you'd like to own this set. As always, we'll randomly choose three winners amongst the eligible entries. Some other details:
  • To enter, leave a confirmed comment below stating why you'd like to own the ER ninth season DVD set.
  • The comment must be left before July 18, 2008 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Three winners will be selected in a random drawing.
  • Three winners will receive a ER - Season Nine DVD (valued at $49.98).
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
Click here for complete Official Rules.

Check below for a deleted scene from season nine, included on the DVDs ...

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Stop asking Eriq LaSalle about ER

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 11th 2008 9:19AM
LaSalle ERRemember what a jerk Eriq LaSalle was as Dr. Peter Benton on ER? You know, a real hard-ass. Well, it turns out his dynamic performance as that character may be because he wasn't acting. At the Hallmark Channel press tour, LaSalle got ticked off when asked about ER.

He was meeting the press to answer questions about his TV movie, Relative Stranger, which will air next January. When LaSalle noticed that there were a plethora of questions about ER -- for him and co-stars Michael Michele and Michael Beach, both of whom had also been on NBC's long-running medical drama -- Eriq flared.

"Okay, I mean look, it was a defining moment, you know, for a lot of us as artists. You know, it was a show that was a little bit ahead of its time. We had a great time doing it. I don't know what else to say. I talked about the show so much. I prefer to talk about Relative Stranger."

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ER gets new interns, and other casting notes

by Brett Love, posted Jun 17th 2008 9:41AM

Shiri ApplebyER has a new group of interns ready for their final season. Chief among them for me is Shiri Appleby. I still have fond enough memories of Roswell that I'm interested to see her cast for that reason alone. She'll be joined by Julian Morris. The two will play siblings Daria and Andrew Wade, a pair that have decidedly different work ethics. Also eager to learn at County General will be Emily Rose (Brothers & Sisters, Jericho) as the ambitious, controlling, Tracy Martin. Rounding out the quartet of interns is Viktor Rasuk (Stop-Loss) as the nervous Ryan Sanchez.

In other casting news, Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica) is set to be the new head research tech at Knight Industries on Knight Rider. A casting move that should give the show some much needed help. On The Sarah Connor Chronicles Leven Rambin (All My Children) will take on the role of Becky, a potential love interest for John. And over at Numb3rs, Sophina Brown (Shark) will try to fill the spot left when Diane Farr's Megan Reeves left the team at the end of last season. Her role as a junior agent is said to be recurring, with the possibility of becoming a regular.

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ER may be replaced with LAPD

by Brett Love, posted Jun 16th 2008 9:43AM

John WellsNBC has had it pretty easy for the last fifteen years where Thursday nights at 10, 9 Central, are concerned. ER was locked in, and for the better part of that run was a dominant force. Now that the show is finally coming to an end, they need to start grooming a replacement. It looks like it could be a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

ER executive producer, John Wells, has set up a new show, LAPD, at the network. It's an ensemble show that will follow the lives of police officers in Los Angeles and will be written by Ann Biderman. That's a solid choice as she won an Emmy for her work on NYPD Blue. The network has ordered a pilot and casting has begun. Another ER alum, Christopher Chulack, is on board to direct. Can it replace ER? Probably not completely. Remember, ER had a run as the number one show on television. That kind of success is hard to come by. Still, given the talent involved, it is something to look forward to.

[ via Cynopsis ]

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ER: The Chicago Way (season finale)

by Richard Keller, posted May 16th 2008 9:38AM

Steve Buscemi on ER(S14E19) Now, let the speculation begin!

Did you really think that ER would end its fourteenth season with everything all honky-dory at County General? You haven't watched it recently, have you? Fact is, the season-ender for the last few years has been some sort of cliffhanger. Last season the fate of Neela was unknown. The year before it was Abby and Luka. A few years before that the fates of Pratt and Jing-Mei were undecided.

Now we have two (or three, or four) characters to consider as potential victims. But, who will be the lucky -- or in this case, unlucky -- one who will end up as a patient in their very own Emergency Room when season 15 of ER begins? Let's take a look at the candidates. Oh, by the way, spoilers ahead if you didn't watch the last three minutes of the episode.

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