The End of ER

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ER is over. NBC’s path-breaking, long-running hospital drama — brainchild of Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg — went out last night in a blaze of network hoopla and a final flurry of rushing guerneys and shouts for blood.

TV critics are declaring the end of the big network drama that the whole country sits down to watch. We’re thinking about the endless run of hospital dramas — from Dr. Kildaire, to Marcus Welby, to St. Elsewhere, Grey’s Anatomy, and House — and why they keep coming.

This hour, On Point: ER goes. Hospital dramas go on. We’ll ask you, and doctors, why?

You can join the conversation. Westerns are gone. Hospital dramas are not. Not at all. Why? Yes, there’s life and death, but why are we drawn to those in a hospital? And will you miss ER?Guests:

Brian Lowry, media columnist and chief TV critic for Variety.

Dr. Lisa Sanders, MD, practices internal medicine in Connecticut and teaches at the Yale School of Medicine. She writes the "Diagnosis" column in The New York Times Magazine and is a consultant to the television show "House." Her forthcoming book is “Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis.”

Dr. Mark Hoornstra, MD, director of the Department of Emergency Services at St. Francis Hospital in New York.

More links:

The official ER website has a section called "ER Remembered," which covers the entire history of the series from 1994 to 2009.

Here's some classic ER from the first season, courtesy of YouTube:

This program aired on April 3, 2009.


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