I love Grey's Anatomy, I really do. But there is nothing that will ever replace the sheer genius that was ER. The medical drama was groundbreaking, gut wrenching, and all around wonderful. After running for 331 episodes, ER finally said goodbye, and no one thought there would be another show like it. Of course, we were right. Nothing will ever top ER. That being said, Grey's Anatomy has finally broken the record for longest running medical drama, as its 332nd episode aired this week.
Some stars of ER were happy for the cast of their medical rivals, although others were a little jealous.
"That's got to stop," George Clooney joked to The Hollywood Reporter. "We've got to go back and do some more! Do you think that's a good idea? I'd play a patient now!"
Clooney of course played the iconic Dr. Doug Ross, who was the best pediatrician known to man (at least in the eyes of his fellow doctors!)
Another doctor who led the charge on ER was Dr. John Carter, played by Noah Wyle. He also had some opinions on Grey's taking over their record.
"Oh my god, I've never felt older than I've felt today," Wyle told THR. "I feel like Alan Alda right now: 'Good for you kids! Well done! Didn't think they'd ever break the record!' Good on them."
Wyle's character had an interesting relationship with Dr. Peter Benton, played by Eriq La Salle. It was one of the most endearing parts of the show, and now the duo are back together filming the show The Red Line, which also takes place in Chicago just like the medical drama.
"[La Salle] and I got to run around the city like we haven’t done in a quarter of a century and really spend good time together again," Wyle told reporters during press for The Red Line. "And while we were together through this, the show went up on Hulu and blew up. The 25th anniversary came around [in September]. We suddenly got to open up those memory banks that neither of us open up very often, and it was really great. Similarly, I was recently on the Warner Bros. [in Burbank] lot for the first time in ages doing some looping. I got there early and was walking around the backlot and saw the L track. That place is rife with memories: 'There’s where I killed the rapist!' The whole place is haunted, in a wonderful way."
Wyle also noted that his and La Salle's relationship on the show was something that hadn't really been seen before.
“Eriq and I talked about this: Our relationship on ER was such a groundbreaking one in a lot of ways because the power dynamic was completely reversed,” Wyle told reporters. “This young, white doctor was killing himself for the approval and affirmation of a black surgeon. And that was the only opinion that mattered to him. That was novel. And we knew that was novel when we were doing it.”
While Clooney and Wyle seem to be open to an ER reboot, Julianna Marguiles, who played Carol Hathaway on the show, isn't as sure. She doesn't even watch Grey's.
"After being on ER I can't watch a medical show," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I wish [Grey's Anatomy] all the best!"
But don't mistake her disdain for medical shows as not enjoying her time on ER, it's just that Marguiles doesn't think rebooting shows is always a good idea.
"I really loved being on ER, and I loved being on The Good Wife. But to constantly come up with new ideas for the same role over and over again, year in and year out, can get really challenging," Margulies admitted. "I love the format of a six-episode in and out. Not only do you really get to explore the character, but then you can put it to bed and walk away and do something else."
She does, however, love how more and more big movie stars are coming to TV. It's almost the opposite of Clooney's journey from small screen to big.
"Just seeing movie stars flocking to television is so heartwarming to me," the star gushed. "I remember I was at an event with Reese Witherspoon last year right after [Big Little Lies] won all these awards. I said, 'Welcome to my world.' And she said, 'I had no idea it could be this great.' And I said, 'It is for women!' And I've always said that. You get to play strong characters as a woman on television. You just do. And it's not just women flocking to television, it's men too. I mean it's everywhere."
Marguiles credits the internet and how we consume television as to why TV is becoming more and more popular.
"The platform's changed so much," she pointed out. "The spectrum is so far and wide that there's room for everybody and I think that's a really heartening thing to see. I know that especially as a parent and a busy person I don't have a lot of time to see anything outside of my home, so it's it's so lovely to say, 'Hey, what's on Netflix? What's on Apple? What's on Amazon?' And [it's great to] be able to dive in and and watch these great 10-episode, eight-episode shows that you can see and then you're on to the next one."
She's right, of course, but I will never think streaming is good until ER is completely available!
[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]