Maura Tierney, ER

In its final year, ER (Thursdays at 10 pm/ET, NBC) will welcome back some old friends while other cast members make early exits. In the 15th-season premiere, Greg Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) died a shocking death, and Thursday Maura Tierney's lovable but beleaguered Dr. Abby Lockhart checks out for the last time.

TV Guide: You wanted Abby to be killed off, but she won't be. So how does she leave?
Maura Tierney: Last year, Abby struggled so much, the writers wanted to send her off with a certain amount of calm and dignity. It's sweet and funny.

TV Guide: What's the future for Luka and Abby?
Tierney
: I think it’s looking up. We sort of exit together. And there could be a kiss.

TV Guide: Are George Clooney and Julianna Margulies coming back?
Tierney: I’ve heard the rumors. [Laughs] I have no inside information…I want them to come back, too, as a viewer.

TV Guide: What do you want to do next?
Tierney
: I’m ready for a sitcom. I always beg Paul Simms, who created NewsRadio, to make a show that I could be in. But he hasn’t done it yet, so a friend and I are developing an hourlong drama.