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Maura Tierney Checks Out of ER for Good

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 tonight 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? See Tierney's answer and find out what's in Luka and Abby's future after the jump.

Ileane Rudolph

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.