The doctors are in — and will be for at least three more years. According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC is extending its contract with Warner Bros. Television, which produces ER, and is ordering an additional two seasons of the long-in-the-tooth medical drama. The current contract extends through 2006, so the new deal will keep the show going through the spring of 2008, marking 14 years for the show.
Despite its age, (and the beating it’s taken from CBS’ Without a Trace), ER remains not only a cornerstone of NBC’s all-important Thursday night schedule, but also the network’s most-watched show this season, averaging 16.5 million viewers per episode. Of course, the series may have to do without mainstay Noah Wyle, the only actor who’s been with the show during its entire 11-year run, since he’s said he may leave at the end of the current season. Still, ER has endured more cast turnovers than even Law & Order. Apparently, it doesn’t matter who’s yelling ”Stat!” as long as there’s someone in scrubs there to race alongside the gurney.