“ER” was American television medical drama that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2009. The show, created by best-selling novelist Michael Crichton and producer John Wells, was one of the highest-rated programs on television.The show centered on the emergency room doctors, nurses, and staff of County General Hospital, a fictional level-one trauma center in Chicago. The show was set almost entirely inside the hospital and the series examined the fierce challenges and life-and-death decisions the staff faced on a daily basis in their busy metropolitan facility. In addition to the expected emergency room traumas, the series also focused on such issues as crowded waiting rooms, staff shortages, and training new doctors. Other plot elements dealt with the characters’ personal lives and relationships. Following the program’s debut, the cast saw a complete turnover, with character departures caused by dramatic deaths (one was murdered by a patient) and emotional (and often sudden) resignations and terminations.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, the series was the top-rated show on American television, boasting upward of 30 million viewers per episode and winning many Emmy Awards. Its following significantly declined in later seasons and after 15 seasons on air, “ER” ended in 2009.
“ER” provided a breakthrough for several of its cast members, most notably George Clooney, whose role as Dr. Doug Ross in the first five seasons propelled him to fame. In addition, Julianna Margulies’s portrayal of head nurse Carol Hathaway in the first six seasons made her a TV star. Other actors whose careers were boosted by stints on ER included Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle , Maura Tierney, and Goran Visnjic.