Finale was Inspired by Real-life Story, Cast Reunite for Emotional Farewell


Last night, ER, the longest-running American primetime medical drama of all time, aired its final episode which saw Gates (John Stamos) dealing with a young teen who is admitted for alcohol poisoning after playing a deadly drinking game with friends while Dr. Carter (guest star Noah Wyle) opens a new medical facility for the underprivileged in Chicago.


According to executive producer John Wells, the special two-hour episode of the long-running medical drama was inspired by the tragic real-life story of his ex-niece, 17-year-old Shelby Lyn Allen, who died of alcohol poisoning in December.


"What seems like teenage fun can actually be warning signs for a significantly dangerous medical situation," Wells said, hoping to educate millions of teenagers and young adults with last night's series finale.


While it was a sad moment for fans of the medical drama, it was also a very emotional moment for the cast of ER, past and current, as they gathered together in celebration of the show's conclusion.


"We never really had a celebration. We had Christmas parties and season wrap parties, but there was never a sense of closure to the thing," Noah Wyle, who played Dr. John Carter for 11 seasons, said. "People left the show and I kept working. I left the show and other people came on. There was never a collective sense of 'it's done.' That's what tonight is about."


"My heart is breaking for ER," John Stamos, who became a series regular in the 13th season as Dr. Tony Gates, said. "It was a staple on television. Nothing like it will happen again."


ER premiered on September 19, 1994 and wrapped up after 15 seasons, during which it won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards and holds the record as the most-nominated series in TV history.


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