It turns out that wrapping up a long-running television show isn’t nearly as hard as one might expect.
“You want to find the thing that people actually identify with in the series and do something that leaves them feeling satisfied for having spent X number of hours of their lives devoted to watching your ongoing narrative,” revealed ER showrunner John Wells in a recent interview with the LA Times.
Now if only Wells would expand his definition of “the thing that people identify with in the series” to cast members who are not named George Clooney.
How else to explain the fact that NBC let it ‘leak’ (here, here and here) that after nearly a decade, the venerable Dr. Ross will finally be scrubbing back into the ER (with special guest star Susan Sarandon to boot!?)
Now don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against a little original cast member appreciation per-se. We just can’t help but feel that all the hype surrounding Anthony Edwards’ recent return and George Clooney’s impending one quite frankly reeks of 3 cc’s of desperation.
ER in essence is making the exact same mistake that STAR TREK ENTERPRISE did when it ended its five-year run. After showrunners Rick Berman and Brannon Braga made the much-maligned decision to tell ENTERPRISE’s final mission through the eyes of original “NEXT GENERATION” cast members Commander Riker and Deanna Troi, one critic opined, “What a sad, sad ending to a series that was just starting to find it’s voice. What a slap in the face to the cast and the fans of ENTERPRISE. I can’t stop shaking my head in disbelief and the only conclusion I can come to is that Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have truly come to hate STAR TREK and its fans.”
And while we appreciate the gloom-and-doom business realities that NBC currently is facing — compounded with the fact that the peacock network has yet to meet a “special guest star” they couldn’t promote into the ground — we’re left asking: Where’s the love, respect and appreciation for the current crop of ER docs such as Linda Cardelleine, Scott Grimes, Parminder Nagra and John Stamos? You know, the ones that people actually identify with and have spent X number of hours of their lives devoted to watching.