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Ratings: ER Serves Up Most-Watched Drama Finale Since 1996

Thursday's ratings recap: * 8 pm/ET Survivor returned with a season-low 11.2 million total viewers, thanks in part to NBC's ER retrospective, which drew 10.56 mil. Bones placed third with 9 mil, a dip of 570K from its previous outing. ABC's comedies were not laughing, as both In the Motherhood (5 mil) and Samantha Who? (4.8 mil) plunged 26 percent. Smallville (3.8 mil) saw a 50K uptick. * 9 pm ER 's two-hour (and rather awesome) series finale was the night's most-watched program, averaging 16.2 million viewers and even flirting with 18 mil at the 10 0'clock mark. That tally represents the largest audience for the final episode of a drama series since Murder, She Wrote circa 1996. (Be sure to check out Trish's fantastic recap of the ER ender.) CSI 's William Friedkin-directed 200th episode placed second at 9 pm, drawing a season low of 14.38 mil. Facing stiff competition, Hell's Kitchen (7 mil) saw one-third of its audience get flambeed. Supernatural gained 110 thou, hitting 3.28 mil. * 10 pm Placing second behind ER, Eleventh Hour returned to an audience of 10.38 mil, down 12 percent from its last fresh episode. Source here

ER's Jerry Shares the View from the Front Desk

ER has weathered 15 years on the air by maintaining a strong ensemble through several cast changes. One consistency in the roster is Abraham Benrubi (also formerly of Men in Trees), who plays Jerry Markovic, the smirky front-desk clerk. Jerry has been around for all 15 seasons, give or take a season or four. Benrubi tells TVGuide.com what it was like acting opposite nearly everyone in the cast, whether he thinks Jerry is gay, and what happens to Jerry after NBC closes the doors on County General. To Read The Interview Click here .

Truth Is, Mekhi Phifer's Joining Lie to Me

Just as ER prepares to tee up its series finale, one of its alumni has booked a meaty new gig. Mekhi Phifer, who for six seasons walked the halls of County General as Dr. Gregory Pratt, has booked a multiple-episode appointment on Fox's Lie to Me , TVGuide.com has learned exclusively. Phifer will appear on the freshman drama series as Ben Reynolds, an FBI agent who partners with Dr. Lightman (Tim Roth) to track a serial rapist terrorizing the D.C. area. Reynolds serves as The Lightman Group's government liaison on the case, as he has spent six months pursuing the elusive criminal. Phifer's arc kicks off Wednesday, May 6. Source here

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. Source here

ER Finale Draws Huge Numbers - Featured

The ER finale that aired on NBC last night drew the show's largest audience in nearly 3 years - 16.2 million viewers. Furthermore, that 16.2 million represents the largest numbers for a network drama's finale since the conclusion of Murder, She Wrote nearly 13 years ago. So...did you tune into ER 's record setting finale? Did you find it to be a fitting conclusion to the show's 15-year run? Source: TV Decoder

TV Tonight (4/2): What's On? What's Off? - Featured

Due to the big event of the ER finale and breaks for some favorite shows, tonight is not our typical Thursday, so check out what's on and what's off! What's On: At 8/7c, Bones is back yet again on Fox, Survivor: Tocantins returns to its regular night and time on CBS with an all new episode, Smallville will air as usual on The CW , plus newbie In the Motherhood will air on ABC at 8, then Samantha Who? at 8:30. Also, if you're an ER buff, don't miss the 'ER Retrospective' taking a look back at the 15 seasons airing from 8-9pm. At 9/8c, catch a new CSI on CBS, Hell's Kitchen on Fox, Supernatural on The CW , and of course, the 2-hour ER series finale. At 10/9c, Eleventh Hour is new on CBS, but that's it for the main networks. What's Off: Due to ER taking over on NBC, there's no The Office or 30 Rock . Also, there's no new Grey's Anatomy or Private Practice on ABC tonight and both will have reruns in those slots. (I guess they got scared off from airing any other medical shows tonight!) So what will you be watching? As a NBC comedy night fan myself, I have to say I'm at a loss! Maybe time to do some catch up for the week...

TVGuide.com: TV's Best Finales Ever - Featured

As ER scrubs out with its 2-hour finale tonight on NBC at 9/8c, take a look back at some of TV's best finale episodes including The Sopranos , Friends , Lost , M*A*S*H , Six Feet Under and more! TVGuide.com: TV's Best Finales Ever What are your favs? Photo courtesy of TVGuide.com

ER Admits Last Patient: Marilu Henner

ER is pulling out all the stops for its two-hour series finale Thursday (9 pm/ET, NBC), including recruiting a few familiar faces from television -not just ER - past. Taxi alum Marilu Henner will drop by County General after clashing with a certain member of her family. The actress, who is also guesting on Starz's Party Down and ABC Family's Roommates , previews her scarring turn with TVGuide.com and shares how she indirectly shaped the iconic ER cast. For The Full Interview Click Here .

ER Season 15 Episode 22 "And In The End"

Gates (John Stamos) works on a young teen brought in with alcohol poisoning after playing a deadly drinking game with friends. Dr. Carter (guest star Noah Wyle) opens a new medical facility for the underprivileged in Chicago and some old friends from County General all come to show their support. It's Sam's (Linda Cardellini) birthday and Alex (Dominic Janes) and Gates surprise her with a special gift. Meanwhile, Carter works with an intern to save a mother in labor with twins. Parminder Nagra, Scott Grimes, David Lyons and Angela Bassett also star. Airing this Thursday April 2 at 10pm on NBC. To Watch The Preview Click Here . Source here

Week of 3/29: Ten Things We Can't Wait For! - Featured

Some of the events we are eager for on this week's television: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency bows on HBO ! I've never read the books and am not necessarily eager for another detective-themed series, but it's airing on HBO (counts for something, right?) and in the very least offers some specular African cinematography. Tricia Helfer on Chuck ! Battlestar Galactica may be gone (sobs), but at least you can check out Six herself on this week's new Chuck as an agent sent to evaluate Sarah's performance. I sense an impending girlfight...and how good has Chuck been lately?! Greek returns to ABC Family! Dare I say that sometimes I find myself enjoying Greek more than Gossip Girl ? Since the two shows will now air against each other...some tough viewing decisions will have to be made on which one gets watched first! Look for the Casey and Frannie feud to escalate, as Frannie launches her new competing ZBZ sorority, IKI. Mos Def on House ! With no new House last week, you'll mos definitely want to watch this week's all new episode, which includes a guest starring turn from none other than Mos Def as a man "Locked In" his own body; he is conscious, but cannot move or communicate. My Boys Season 3 Premieres on TBS ! I wasn't completely enthralled with some of the more recent episodes of My Boys (I think it has gotten itself stuck in the "will they/won't they conundrum" and needs to find a way to elevate itself), but the show still remains charming...especially for a TBS sitcom that I never expected much from originally. 90210 finally returns with new episodes! It has been far too long of a hiatus for The CW 's only new show this season that resembles a hit..and they've been teasing us with these Fast and the Furious-style previews for far too long. This is the first of 8 new episodes. Cupid 2.0 premieres on ABC! It's a bold move to remake a series that failed a few years ago, and I am not necessarily convinced that it will fare any better this time around...but Cupid comes from Rob Thomas ( Veronica Mars ), so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Life on Mars ends! It started off looking like a surprise hit for ABC, but ratings fizzled week by week until like so many other ABC dramas this season, Mars received the axe. At least it was given enough notice to film a proper finale, which airs this Wednesday night. ER says goodbye after 15 seasons! Even if you lost touch with ER a few seasons ago (much like myself), for nostalgia sake alone, you'll want to tune in for the show's series finale. It's an all night event beginning with a retrospective, followed by a 2 hour episode. CBS Thursday lineup is in tact! For you non-March Madness fanatics, you'll be pleased to know that Thursday night is back in tact this week on CBS after many changes due to basketball. Survivor: Tocantins , CSI and Eleventh Hour are all new and airing in their correct time slots. What are you most excited for this week?