* * *▪ American television dramaAmerican television medical drama airing on the National Broadcasting Company (National Broadcasting Co., Inc.) (NBC) network. The show, created by best-selling novelist Michael Crichton and producer John Wells, debuted in 1994 and became one of the highest-rated programs on television.ER centres on the emergency room doctors, nurses, and staff of County General Hospital, a fictional level-one trauma centre in Chicago. Known for its intensity, the series examines the fierce challenges and life-and-death decisions the staff face on a daily basis in their busy metropolitan facility. Although medical emergencies regularly figure into the show's main plot, the narrative is also driven by other tensions. Some of these, such as crowded waiting rooms, staff shortages, and training new doctors, relate to the practice of medicine, but other plot elements deal with the characters' lives and relationships. The show is set almost entirely inside the hospital, with occasional scenes taking place elsewhere. Since the program's debut, the cast has seen a complete turnover, with character departures caused by dramatic deaths (one was murdered by a patient) and emotional (and often sudden) resignations and terminations. High-profile guest stars, including Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi, James Woods, and Sally Field, have been another staple of ER's success.In the mid- to late 1990s the series was the top-rated show on American television, boasting upwards of 30 million viewers and winning many Emmy Awards, though its following significantly declined in later seasons.
* * *