EW tells you which longtime star will leave the show and which young vet will return

By Jessica Shaw
Updated July 08, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Ming-Na: Jeff Slocomb/Outline

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Seems even TV’s No. 1 show is due for some minor surgery. Look for faltering NBC juggernaut ”ER” — which lost 16 percent of its viewers last season — to make some staff changes in the fall. According to sources close to the series, Gloria Reuben — who plays multiple-malady-stricken nurse Jeannie Boulet — is in talks to exit during the season. The producers are now debating how she’d be written out.

Meanwhile, first-season resident Ming-Na Wen — who left the show to join NBC sitcom ”The Single Guy” (somebody needs a new agent, stat!) — is set to don her ”ER” scrubs again. A spokesperson for the series refused to comment, saying only, ”We’re still working things out.” Plans are confirmed, however, to add an elder voice of wisdom to the hospital staff. Donald Sutherland and Sidney Poitier were considered, ”but it’s not going to happen with them,” says the spokesperson. ”We’re still trying to cast that character.”

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