ER (season 1): Wikis

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ER: The Complete First Season
DVD Season 1 Cover (EUA).jpg
Series ER
Country of origin  United States
Network NBC
Original run September 19, 1994 – May 18, 1995
No. of episodes 25
DVD release date February 23, 2004 (Widescreen, Boxset)
Next season ER season 2

The first season of the American fictional drama television series ER aired from 1994-1995 with 25 episodes.

The 2-hour pilot episode aired on September 19, 1994 and was followed by 24 other episodes, including the season finale that aired on May 18, 1995.

Contents

Plot

In ER's first season, the core cast consisted of Chief Resident Dr. Mark Greene, pediatric resident and lothario Dr. Doug Ross, second-year resident Dr. Susan Lewis, medical student John Carter, head nurse Carol Hathaway, and second-year surgical resident Dr. Peter Benton. The series premiere "24 Hours" sees Dr. Greene considering a move into private practice at the request of his wife, Jen. The episode also sees a suicide attempt from staff nurse Carol Hathaway, who had previously been in a long-term relationship with Doug Ross, and the first day for medical student John Carter. Originally, Carol Hathaway's suicide was intended to be successful, but her death in the pilot was never shown or referred to by other characters, leaving her open for a return. Audiences responded so well to her character that producers decided to offer Julianna Margulies a permanent spot in the cast. Nurse Hathaway returned in Episode 3, "Going Home".

Over the course of the season, Dr. Greene's marriage disintegrates. At work he experiences problems, after making a fatal error in the treatment of a pregnant woman in the Emmy-winning episode "Love's Labor Lost". Dr. Ross struggles to come to terms with the fact that a recovered Hathaway is moving on with her life. Dr. Lewis tries to cope with her tearaway sister, Chloe, who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter at the end of the season. Lewis also struggles professionally with cardiologist Dr. Kayson and romantically with mentally unstable psychiatric resident Dr. Div Cvetic.

Carter comes to grips with the fast-paced life of an ER doctor, while trying to win the approval of his supervising resident, Dr. Benton. Hathaway gets back on her feet in the aftermath of her suicide attempt; she gets engaged and tries to adopt an HIV-positive Russian orphan, but can not, due to her suicide attempt. However, on her wedding day, her fiance, Dr. John Taglieri, questions the strength of her love for him. She admits she does not love him as much as he loves her, and he leaves her shortly before the ceremony. Meanwhile, Dr. Benton is forced to cope with his busy surgical schedule, while caring for his ailing mother. After her death, he becomes romantically involved with her physical therapist Jeanie Boulet.

Production

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Cast

Starring cast

Supporting cast

Doctors and Medical Students:
William H. Macy as Dr. David Morgenstern - Chief of Surgery & Emergency Medicine
Sam Anderson as Dr. Jack Kayson - Chief of Cardiology
Amy Aquino as Dr. Janet Coburn - Chief of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
CCH Pounder as Dr. Angela Hicks - Surgical Attending Physician
Ming-Na as Deb Chen - Third Year Medical Student
Michael Ironside as Dr. William "Wild Willy" Swift - Chief of Emergency Medicine
Scott Jaeck as Dr. Steve Flint - Chief of Radiology
Rick Rossovich as Dr. John "Tag" Taglieri - Orthopedist
John Terry as Dr. David "Div" Cvetic - Psychiatrist

Nurses:
Ellen Crawford as Nurse Lydia Wright
Conni Marie Brazelton as Nurse Conni Oligario
Deezer D as Nurse Malik McGrath
Laura Cerón as Nurse Chuny Marquez
Yvette Freeman as Nurse Haleh Adams
Lily Mariye as Nurse Lily Jarvik
Vanessa Marquez as Nurse Wendy Goldman
Dinah Lenney as Nurse Shirley

Staff and Paramedics:
Gloria Reuben as Physician Assistant Jeanie Boulet
Abraham Benrubi as Desk Clerk Jerry Markovic
Glenn Plummer as Desk Clerk Timmy Rawlins
Rolando Molina as Desk Clerk Rolando
Malgoscha Gebel as ER aide Bogdanilivestsky "Bob" Romansky
Mike Genovese as Officer Al Grabarsky
Emily Wagner as Paramedic Doris Pickman
Monté Russell as Paramedic Dwight Zadro

Other:
Khandi Alexander as Jackie Robbins
Zachary Browne as Jake Leeds
Christine Harnos as Jennifer "Jenn" Greene
Andrea Parker as Linda Ferrell
Ving Rhames as Walt Robbins
Beah Richards as Mae Benton
Kathleen Wilhoite as Chloe Lewis
Yvonne Zima as Rachel Greene

Notable guest stars

Crew

The series pilot was executive produced by Michael Crichton and John Wells, Dennis Murphy produced the pilot episode and Wendy Spence Rosato served as Associate Producer. Crichton, Wells and Spence-Rosato continued these roles for the series proper while Murphy was replaced as producer by Christopher Chulack. Also joining the production team were Mimi Leder, Robert Nathan and Lydia Woodward as supervising producers and Paul Manning as Co-producer.

Crichton wrote the series pilot and is credited as the creator of the series for the rest of the season. Producers Wells, Nathan, Woodward, and Manning were regular writers for the first season. Medical specialist and technical advisor Lance Gentile made his television writing debut in the first season. His first teleplay "Love's Labor Lost" won multiple Emmy Awards. Medical student Neal Baer was the seasons other regular writer. Tracey Stern contributed the script for a single episode.

Producers Leder and Chulack were regular directors on the first season. Rod Holcomb directed the pilot episode and returned for a regular season episode. Charles Haid, Elodie Keene and Fred Gerber also helmed multiple episodes. Film director Quentin Tarantino contributed a single episode. Other single episode directors include Mark Tinker, Vern Gillum, James Hayman, Daniel Sackheim, Felix Enriquez Alcala, Anita Addison, James Hayman, and Donna Deitch.

Episodes

"Series #" refers to the episode's number in the overall series, whereas "Season #" refers to the episode's number in this particular season.

Season # Series # Title Writer(s) Director Original airdate
1 1 "24 Hours" Michael Crichton Rod Holcomb September 19, 1994 (1994-09-19)

Pilot. John Carter, a third-year medical student, begins the first day of his rotation in the ER at County General Hospital. Dr. Mark Greene, an ER resident physician, is mulling an offer to go into private practice. Dr. Susan Lewis, another ER resident, deals with a myriad of patients, including an advanced cancer patient. Dr. Doug Ross, the ER pediatrician, confronts a woman over potential abuse of her son. The head nurse, Carol Hathaway, returns several hours after her shift as a patient, overdosing in an apparent suicide attempt.

Note: Nielsen Ratings: 23.0 million viewers 
2 2 "Day One" John Wells Mimi Leder September 22, 1994 (1994-09-22)
Lewis butts heads with the resident psychiatrist, Dr. Div Cvetic, over care for a senile patient. Greene tries to deal with an elderly man who insists on keeping his wife on life support even though she is DNR (do-not-resuscitate). Benton corrects a diagnosis made on a patient by their own physician. Carter is seduced by a sexy patient. A family comes in after an alcohol-related car accident. Greene's wife has passed the bar exam. Ross visits Hathaway, who is recovering from her suicide attempt. 
3 3 "Going Home" Lydia Woodward Mark Tinker September 29, 1994 (1994-09-29)
Hathaway returns to work after her suicide attempt, and gets support from her co-workers and her orthopedic surgeon boyfriend, Dr. John "Tag" Tagliari. A mysterious woman (played by Rosemary Clooney) comes to the ER and sings to the doctors and patients while the doctors try to find out who she is. Lewis deals with a heart patient. Benton works with an injured convenience store clerk who insists on defending himself when his store is robbed. 
4 4 "Hit and Run" Paul Manning Mimi Leder October 6, 1994 (1994-10-06)
Ross attempts to reconcile his lingering feelings for Hathaway while dealing with a single mother and her young son after it is found that she hears voices. Benton clashes with another surgeon over a hit-and-run patient. Carter mixes up patients when he tries to notify a family of a lost patient. A married man comes in suffering a mild heart attack while handcuffed to his mistress. 
5 5 "Into That Good Night" Robert Nathan Charles Haid October 13, 1994 (1994-10-13)
Greene mulls a decision to move to Milwaukee so his wife, Jennifer, can pursue her law career. He and the rest of the ER staff tend to a dying heart transplant candidate. Ross counsels a woman who cannot afford medication for her asthmatic daughter. Carter may have made a mistake with a former patient. Lewis has to juggle dealing with an alcohol-poisoned fraternity brother and calls from her mother to get her prodigal sister, Chloe, a job. 
6 6 "Chicago Heat" Neal Baer (story), and John Wells (teleplay) Elodie Keene October 20, 1994 (1994-10-20)
The air conditioning at County General is broken. Greene brings his daughter, Rachel, to work with him while Jennifer goes apartment-hunting in Milwaukee. Ross works with a 5-year-old girl that ingested cocaine. Benton tries to save a young robber shot by his frequent convenience store clerk patient. Lewis tries to deal with Chloe's worsening mental problems. 
7 7 "Another Perfect Day" Lance Gentile (story) and Lydia Woodward (teleplay) Vern Gillum November 3, 1994 (1994-11-03)
Ross and Hathaway save a young boating accident victim. They give in to their feelings briefly, making Hathaway reconsider moving in with Tag. Chloe disrupts a date between Lewis and Cvetic. Benton is competing for a prestigious fellowship. Greene observes Carter in the ER, giving Carter some confidence. 
8 8 "9 1/2 Hours" Robert Nathan James Hayman November 10, 1994 (1994-11-10)
Greene calls in sick so he and Jennifer can spend the day together, leaving Ross in charge of the ER. Carter works on a high school wrestler that starved himself to make weight. Hathaway counsels a young rape victim. Benton is dealing with his senile mother, and butts heads with Ross. Lewis is worried about Cvetic's growing temper problem. 
9 9 "ER Confidential" Paul Manning Daniel Sackheim November 17, 1994 (1994-11-17)
Lewis is caught in the middle as both Cvetic and Chloe have problems. Carter tries to help a suicidal transsexual. The ER tries to save two boys who killed a girl in a car accident. Benton invites Carter to Thanksgiving with his family. Hathaway confesses her feelings about Ross to Tag after Ross begins a new affair. 
10 10 "Blizzard" Neal Baer & Paul Manning (story), and Lance Gentile (teleplay) Mimi Leder December 8, 1994 (1994-12-08)
It's a December blizzard, and the day starts out quiet. Hathaway announces her engagement with Tag. Suddenly, County General goes into crisis mode when a 32-car pileup on an expressway inundating them with patients. Among the patients are a young male that Benton knows that lost his leg, a patient of Ross' that dies suddenly while waiting for treatment, and a man who is snowed in at home and calls Greene when his wife refuses to go to the hospital to have her baby. Lewis tries to save a man that suddenly develops an aneurysm, and the patient is saved by the most unlikely person. 
11 11 "The Gift" Neal Baer Félix Enríquez Alcalá December 15, 1994 (1994-12-15)
A transfer team is due by helicopter to receive donor organs - but Benton has not yet obtained next-of-kin approval for the organ harvest. And although it's Christmas Eve, Greene has not found time to shop for gifts. Ross crashes a party. 
12 12 "Happy New Year" Lydia Woodward Charles Haid January 5, 1995 (1995-01-05)
Carter proves he's ready for the OR - but his first day in surgical attendance is a comedy of mishaps. The consequences are grave when Lewis discharges a cardiac patient. Benton must deal with a family conflict. 
13 13 "Luck of the Draw" Paul Manning Rod Holcomb January 12, 1995 (1995-01-12)
Lewis is formally charged with negligence and Greene is ordered to supervise her work. A customs agent brings in a suspect whose intestines are packed with contraband. Carter shows new medical student Deb around the ER. 
14 14 "Long Day's Journey" Robert Nathan Anita Addison January 19, 1995 (1995-01-19)

The nonstop parade of crises and stricken young innocents weighs heavily on Ross. Meanwhile, the heart attack victim under Lewis' care is the doctor who nearly wrecked her career. Benton hires a physical therapist, Jeanie Boulet, to take care of his mother.

First Appearance of Physician Assistant Jeanie Boulet. 
15 15 "Feb 5, '95" John Wells James Hayman February 2, 1995 (1995-02-02)
Morgenstern surprises Greene with a new job offer. A terminally ill breast cancer patient asks Greene to help her die. An armed boy threatens the hospital staff. 
16 16 "Make of Two Hearts" Lydia Woodward Mimi Leder February 9, 1995 (1995-02-09)
Kayson pursues Lewis romantically. Ross and Hathaway cope with a young Russian girl with AIDS whose adoptive mother abandons her. A humane policeman hauls in a dog he hit with his car. 
17 17 "The Birthday Party" John Wells Elodie Keene February 16, 1995 (1995-02-16)
Greene and Benton each have family birthday parties to attend, but ER demands may keep them away. Meanwhile, Carter mistakenly thinks it's Benton's birthday and hires belly dancers as a celebratory surprise. Hathaway considers adoption. 
18 18 "Sleepless in Chicago" Paul Manning Christopher Chulack February 23, 1995 (1995-02-23)
Benton runs on no sleep for 48 hours. A con man works the floor. A mental patient poses as a hospital efficiency expert. Greene's wife wants a divorce. Hathaway's past comes back to haunt her. 
19 19 "Love's Labor Lost" Lance Gentile Mimi Leder March 9, 1995 (1995-03-09)
Greene misdiagnoses a pregnant patient, leading to a long and arduous surgery. 
20 20 "Full Moon, Saturday Night" Neal Baer Donna Deitch March 30, 1995 (1995-03-30)
The moon is full and so is the ER - filled with popsicle pledges, a would-be werewolf, and others affected by "lunar lunacy" - and Lewis is the only resident available. Coping with emotional problems, Greene's not making a good impression on the new ER chief. 
21 21 "House of Cards" Tracey Stern Fred Gerber April 6, 1995 (1995-04-06)

Greene must lead seminar on the ill-fated preeclampsia case he recently misdiagnosed. The rivalry between Carter and Chen causes Chen to make a disastrous mistake. Lewis' pregnant sister Chloe returns from Texas.

Note: Nielsen Ratings: 35.3 million viewers (highest rated of season one). 
22 22 "Men Plan, God Laughs" Robert Nathan Christopher Chulack April 27, 1995 (1995-04-27)
Benton compensates his inability in helping his mother by going beyond the call to help his patients. Meanwhile, Greene attempts to save his marriage - but that means less time at work and more disfavor with the new ER chief. 
23 23 "Love Among the Ruins" Paul Manning Fred Gerber May 4, 1995 (1995-05-04)
Carter's family background is discovered. Benton starts falling for a married woman. Hathaway has trouble writing her wedding vows. Greene is living with his wife in Milwaukee, but their marriage is still broken. Lewis treats a suicidal patient. 
24 24 "Motherhood" Lydia Woodward Quentin Tarantino May 11, 1995 (1995-05-11)
Ross must deal with commitment issues. Carter's future is uncertain. Lewis helps deliver her niece. Benton receives some bad news about his mother. In reference to a "sunbaking scene" featuring Hathaway and Lewis, Julianna Margulies, the actress playing Hathaway, said the episode included "the most skin anyone's seen on ER."[1] The episode initially aired less than two months after its director, Quentin Tarantino, received an Oscar for his Pulp Fiction screenplay. 
25 25 "Everything Old Is New Again" John Wells Mimi Leder May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)

Both Green and Carter get some surprising news. At Hathaway's wedding, not everything goes as planned.

Note: Nielsen Ratings: 33.6 million viewers. 

Reception

Critical reactions for ER's first season were very favourable. Alan Rich, writing for Variety, praised the direction and editing of the pilot[2] while Eric Mink, writing for the New York Daily News, said that the pilot of ER "was urban, emergency room chaos and young, committed doctors." However some reviewers felt the episodes following the pilot didn't live up to it with Mink commenting that "...the great promise of the "E.R." pilot dissolves into the kind of routine, predictable, sloppily detailed medical drama we've seen many times before."[3]

Due to the show launching on NBC the same time as CBS launched its own hospital drama Chicago Hope, many critics drew comparisons between the two. Eric Mink concluded that ER may rate more highly in the Nielsens but Chicago Hope told better stories,[3] while Rich felt both shows were "riveting, superior TV fare."[2]

The show's first season won several major Television awards. Julianna Margulies picked up an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, while Mimi Leder won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing a Drama Series for the episode "Love's Labor Lost". "Love's Labor Lost" also picked up the 1995 Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Drama and the 1995 American Cinema Editors Award. "Day One" picked up two awards for Cinematography at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards of 1994 while Charles Haid won the Directors Guild of America Award for Primetime Drama Series for the episode "Into that Good Night" with Rob Holcomb also picking up a Directors Guild Award in the Dramatic Specials category for his work on "24 Hours". The first season also received a number of nominations for other awards which are listed in the List of ER awards and nominations.

References

  1. ^ "Coming to a Screen Near You — Reservoir Docs". Time magazine. May 8, 1995. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982908,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-04.  
  2. ^ a b ER Review (Variety Magazine) – Rich, Alan: ER - Pilot Review (from 19 September 1994), accessed on December 31, 2008
  3. ^ a b Deja Vu: 'ER' (New York Daily News) – Minke, Eric: Chicago Hope looks healthier than 'E.R (from 22 September 2008), accessed on December 31, 2008

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