"There are helicopters in Miami Medical," McCrane says with a laugh, "but fortunately I stayed far away."
Check out photos of the Miami Medical cast
McCrane, of course, played ER's Dr. Robert Romano, who lost his arm when he backed into the tail rotor blade of a chopper. One season later, McCrane's character was killed off when another helicopter crashed in the ambulance bay, crushing him.
In Friday's episode (10/9c on CBS), several victims are brought into the hospital after a gunman starts shooting at a hotel pool. Among the victims is an asthmatic woman, whose asthma, the doctors learn, is caused by a tumor. The surprises continue from there.
McCrane, who directed several episodes of ER, has also helmed several other Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series: Without a Trace, The Forgotten, and Eleventh Hour. He says he was pleased Bruckheimer's team called on him again for Miami Medical, particularly because it's such a new show.
"It's first and foremost about what [the writers] are trying to accomplish, and then I try to bring what I can to best enhance and support what they're trying to do," McCrane says. "It's kind of fun to come on this early in a project because, if they are game and if they like your suggestions, you do have a chance to make a contribution to what the show shapes up into."
McCrane says his history with ER made him a somewhat obvious choice for the gig, but he hopes viewers see the distinction between his former show and Miami Medical, which focuses solely on a group of trauma surgeons tasked with treating critical patients in the "golden hour" after they first arrive.
Spring Preview: Get scoop on Miami Medical and more new shows
"It's its own animal, from the look, to the doctors, to the way it's set up. I hope in terms of the urgency and the quality, the show approaches if not matches ER. But it's a variation on the theme," McCrane says. "I hope viewers get to have some of the excitement and sense of jeopardy that ER provided but in a much sunnier, sexier environment."