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George Clooney may return to ''ER'' for Julianna Margulies' exit

But he won’t do four cameos at $2 million per

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George Clooney
Bill Davila/Retna

George Clooney may return for the ”ER” 1999-2000 season finale — which will also be Julianna Margulies’ last appearance — most likely to have his Dr. Ross whisk her Nurse Hathaway away from County General Memorial Hospital. ”I’d be thrilled and honored to do that,” Clooney said Monday. He added that he had discussed the cameo with ”ER” executive producer John Wells last June while both were trying to correct the false rumors that Clooney would be returning for four episodes at $2 million per, a report that surprised the actor most of all. ”I saw it in USA Today,” he said. ”And I called everyone I knew and said, ‘I’m rich!”’

After his February exit, ”ER”’s ratings fell 22 percent from the previous year’s, but Clooney said Monday that it wasn’t his character getting scrubbed that caused the injury. ”The ratings were dropping while I was there as well,” he explained. ”The quality of the show was slipping. It happens after five years. Things get tired, and it’s time for something new.”

Now, with two new cast members (”NewsRadio”’s Maura Tierney and ”Homicide”’s Michael Michele) and recurring roles for Rebecca DeMornay and Alan Alda, Clooney said ”ER” will be rejuvenated — and having a veteran like him hanging around the defibrillator is the last thing it needs: The show’s producers ”sort of have to say they’d really like me to come back, but I have a feeling they want to move on. I don’t think they want to have these nostalgia shows.” Better stay on call just in case, George.