By Lynette Rice
Updated November 21, 2006 at 04:00 PM EST
ER: Eric Liebowitz

If there’s such a disease as triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13), ER seems to have discovered a cure: John Stamos (pictured, right, with costar Mekhi Phifer). NBC’s decision to cast the heartthrob as cocky med stud Tony Gates has injected so much new life into the drama, now in its 13th season, that speculation is swirling about a — gulp! — 15th go-around for the series. (The current deal expires in spring 2008; a new pact would add an extra year.) While NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says official talks haven’t begun, he’s reveling in ER’s ratings (at 13.9 million viewers, the show is up slightly from last year and is winning its time slot over Shark and Six Degrees). “It warms my heart that ER is once again a part of our circle of good news,” says Reilly. “It doesn’t feel like a vestige of the show like it once was.”

The first step in securing ER for a 15th season would be to renegotiate with the series regulars — most of whom have deals that expire in May of ’07. Stamos is game should ER go the distance. “I’ve never gotten this kind of writing,” beams the Full House alum. “It’s so good!” (Don’t let the Olsen twins hear you say that!)

PopWatchers, how many of you are still checking into ER on Thursdays? Is the former Uncle Jesse the draw for you? Or is Grey’s Anatomy at 9 whetting your appetite for a second hour of hospital theatrics, led by another (Mc)Dreamy medic?

addCredit(“ER: Eric Liebowitz”)