Aside from nods for writing and guest acting, ER
was basically M.I.A. among this year's Emmy nominees. "Well, there've been good years and bad years," Noah Wyle concedes to TV Guide Online. "What The Sopranos enjoyed last year and Six Feet Under is enjoying this year, we enjoyed for the first two or three years of [ER], where the entire cast and the show was getting nominated.
"It's very easy to forget that's the exception and not the rule," Dr. Carter's portrayer adds. "[When] our nominations declined [at first], there was a lot of soul-searching as to whether we were doing something wrong. Now, it's just one of those nice blessings if you get that phone call. We have it better than a lot of shows... We're still reaching 20 to 30 million households a week consistently."
Meanwhile, with George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, Eriq LaSalle and Anthony Edwards off the show, original castmember Wyle is being touted as ER's new star. But isn't this de facto top-billing a bit of a hollow victory for him?
"Not really, because the story of ER is the education of Dr. John Carter," insists NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker. "It really began with him as the medical student nine years ago, and he has risen to run the ER. It really is the arc of the show that I know they had planned out when they began."
Looking to the future, is NBC considering bringing back any popular alums like they did Sherry Stringfield? "Look, I don't think that's in the cards," Zucker says. "If somebody wanted to come back, I think we'd be open to it, but I don't think that's in the cards."