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'ER' is coming back

April 2, 2008 |  1:57 pm

"ER," one of television’s most honored programs, refused once again to go quietly into that good night and was officially picked up for a 15th and final season, NBC officials announced today.

Despite steadily declining ratings in recent years, the show will air 19 more episodes and return in the fall with the finale, now scheduled for February. The show will continue to air at 10 p.m. Thursdays, which it has occupied since the show premiered in 1994.

"We really wanted to give ‘ER’ the proper platform and the proper respect for being the most nominated show in television history," said NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman during a press event in New York City, where the network unveiled its programming plans for the next season.

The medical drama pioneered a documentary-like visual style for prime-time television, one that was soon copied by other network shows. The show also has survived a revolving door of stars, among them George Clooney, Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies.

The show,which has more Emmy nominations than any other show in television history, has won 22 Emmy Awards, including for outstanding drama series in 1996.

Rumors have persisted for the last couple of seasons that the show, which once commanded audiences that exceeded 30 million but that this season had dropped below 10 million, would be canceled.

-- Martin Miller

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