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ER FAQ 5.00, Section 5: Specific Questions (5/8)

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ER FAQ 5.00: Specific Questions

Asterisks (*) below denotes information updated or added since the last
version of the FAQ.

MeMiceElfAnI Productions Copyright 1997-99 by Rose Cooper; content cannot
be used without expressed written permission of the author.

Last Updated: 1/9/99 by Rose "MotherFAQer" Cooper


 5.01  	Where does "ER" take place?

        "ER" takes place in Cook County General Hospital, and is based
on Cook County Hospital, a real hospital in Chicago.  The hospital is
sometimes referred to, on the show and in real life, as "CCH".
[Note: this is not to be confused with the actress who plays Dr. Hicks,
who is also known in real life as CCH [Pounder].  See for
theoretical enunciation.  See section 5.38 for actual answer.]

 5.02  	Where is "ER" filmed?

        "ER" is filmed both in California and in Chicago.  The
hospital who`s exterior is seen on the show is the University of
Illinois Hospital at 1720 W. Taylor Street, which is part of the
University of Illinois Medical School.  (This is not to be confused
with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Hospital, which
is eight blocks to the east).  The U of I hospital is about a
half-mile from the real Cook County Hospital.

        Other exterior location shots are filmed elsewhere in Chicago, much
to the delight of resident ER fans and enthusiasts.  In an article published
earlier this year, Jefferson Graham of "USA TODAY" writes, "As always, ER will
go to Chicago four times this year to shoot street scenes, an undertaking few
dramatic shows tackle."

      	Sometimes, characters can be seen walking in parts of Chicago
which are actually quite a distance from where Cook County Hospital
is supposed to be; this is artistic license for the purpose of having
scenic locations.

 5.03  	What are some other "ER"-like shows on television?

        Debuting the same week as "ER" was CBS`s "Chicago Hope", which
has developed its own following.  Some viewers like both shows.
"Chicago Hope" premiered in the same timeslot as "ER" but soon was
moved to a different night because it was getting severely beaten in
the ratings.  Produced by the creators of "Picket Fences", "Chicago
Hope" actually has more in common with that show than with "ER".
Unlike the fast-paced action and snappy plot movement of "ER",
"Chicago Hope" tends to be talkier and more ponderous.  It also
exhibits a consistent streak of dark humor not generally seen on
"ER".  Fans of "Chicago Hope" can discuss the show on Usenet in

        As a mid-season replacement in early 1995, Fox unveiled
"Medicine Ball", a medical drama which imitated "ER" in some ways but
made deliberate attempts to appeal to a younger audience by using
youthful attractive actors and generally employing less sophisticated
storylines.  "Medicine Ball" was not renewed by Fox following its
tryout period.

        New for the 1998-99 season is "L.A. Doctors", on CBS.
Blink, and you may miss it.

 5.05  	Why does "ER" show reruns all the time?

        More so than most shows, the fans of "ER" definitely notice
when the series airs a rerun, due especially to the show`s dedicated
following and serial story nature.  I think sometimes fans have a
tendency to exaggerate when it comes to the reruns; generally, "ER"
shows about the same number of new episodes as other shows.  The first
season of "ER" was comprised of twenty-five episodes, which is slightly
above normal.  The second through fourth seasons of "ER"  consisted of
twenty-two episodes when finished, which is very normal; it is expected
that season five and beyond will follow suit.

        It may be that "ER" shows an unusually high number of reruns
because the show is rarely pre-empted for other shows.  In nineteen
months on the air, "ER" has only been pre-empted five times.  Hence,
when other shows are replaced by specials and special broadcasts of
other series` (such as the frequently-pre-empted "NYPD Blue"), "ER"
may be showing yet another rerun.  "ER" is a proven ratings winner
even during rerun periods, so NBC doesn't mind programming them.

        Another slight difference may be due to what is known as
"sweeps" months: February, May, August and November, when the ratings
battle is especially intensive.  "ER"'s producers are especially
mindful of sweeps periods, and perhaps more so than some other shows,
elect to pack these months with new episodes, thus thinning out the
crop throughout the remainder of the season.

        This, of course, applies only to first-run "ER", and only to NBC
(for the most part).  "ER" on US TNT is all reruns, all the time--on purpose.
See section 5.11 for more on TNT.

 5.06  	What is "ER: The Movie"?

        This is a title sometimes used to refer to the two-hour pilot of
the series, titled "24 Hours" ("ER" has never been shown in movie theaters). '
[Uh, with the recent spate of TV shows making their way to The Big Screen,
maybe that should say, "...hasn't been shown in movie theaters--yet."].

        The pilot is available on videotape; it is currently the only
episode which is, in the U.S.  If you see "ER" in an American video store,
that`s what it is.  See sections 5.08 and 5.11 below for more on this

 5.07  	How does "ER" perform in the ratings?

        "ER" ended its fourth season one place behind "Seinfeld", and is
still currently the highest-rated one-hour show airing in the United States.
[And since "Seinfeld" is no longer with us...].

        The highest-rated episodes of "ER" to date were "Hell and High
Water" [207], airing the week of 11/13/95, and the season four finale,
"A Hole in the Heart" [422], shown originally on 5/14/98. "Hell and High
Water" captured a 28.4 rating and a 47 share, which means that 47% of all
people watching television in the U.S. were watching "ER"; "A Hole in the
Heart" garnered a Nielsen 28.8/45 rating/share ratio.  With that, the
finale just barely squeaked by "Ambush" [401], aka "ERLive", the live
fourth season premier which had a Nielsen rating/share of 28.5/45 with an
audience of 42.7 million U.S. viewers.

        Current-week Nielsen ratings can be found on the "USA Today" web pages
<>. The FAQ
<> explains, in some detail,
why full Nielsen ratings are not available on the 'net.

 5.08  	How can I get copies of past episodes on videotape?

        As stated previously, there is only one episode of "ER" commercially
available on video in the U.S. right now: "24 Hours", the pilot episode.
"24 Hours" runs two hours when shown on television with commercials; on
videotape, the episode is roughly an hour and a half.  Currently, the tape
itself is only available at Blockbuster video outlets in the States, but with
the advent of "ER" on TNT, that might be a moot point; see section 5.11 below.

Previously, on the ER FAQ...[like Pembleton on "Homicide: Life on the
Street", I've always wanted to say that], this appeared:

    More episodes are available on video in Great Britain.  In addition
    to the pilot (called "The Beginning" in the U.K.), three more tapes
    have been released, each with two episodes on it.  They are:

        Volume 1 - "Into That Good Night" / "Chicago Heat"
        Volume 2 - "Happy New Year" / "Feb 5 `95"
        Volume 3 - "Sleepless in Chicago" / "Love`s Labor Lost" which, "Charlie" added:

        "The channel which broadcasts ER in the UK, channel 4, held a vote at
        the end of Series 3 called 'By popular demand', viewers got to choose
        their 3 favourite episodes (one from each season) and they were shown
        over a 3 week period.  These were then released on video in the UK.
        The episodes were:

           Series 1 - Everything old is new again
           Series 2 - Hell and High water
           Series 3 - Union Station"

    Ed Griffiths, my "UK Man On The Scene", counters:

        1. The 'ER by Popular Demand' was not chosen by three episodes, one
           from each season; it was just any three episodes. It just happened
           that one from each season was chosen, by chance;
        2. ER: The Beginning and ER: By Popular Demand were deleted on the
           2nd February 1998;
        3. ER: By Popular Demand is still available from
           <>, which ships internationally, but only in
           PAL format;
        4. The 3 volumes of ER: Series 1 were deleted a long time ago, three
           volumes from Series 2 were planned, but were taken off the shelves
           on the day they were released, because of 'copyright problems'.
           And no-one ever saw them ever again :) They've never been

       If you`re missing any of the other episodes, you`re probably out of
luck unless you tape them when they air again (again, see section 5.11 below).
Some people arrange to trade copies of episodes over the Internet, but this is
illegal, and I can`t officially encourage it.

 5.09  	How can I contact the actors on the show?

        You can send your letters to:

            Attn: [Actor's Name]
                  c/o Crichton TV
                  4000 Warner Brothers Blvd.
                  Production Building #1
                  Burbank, CA 91505

        A user named Heidi ( reportedly sent a
letter to Julianna Margulies using this address and got a response
and an autographed publicity picture back.

 5.10  	How can I submit a script to "ER"?

        Like most shows, "ER" takes scripts only from writers with
agents.  If you have an agent, you likely already know the process
for this.

 5.11  	Is "ER" in syndication?

        The cable channel TNT (Turner Network Television) has bought
the syndication rights to "ER" episodes through 1998.  Apparently--
unfortunately--this currently only applies to the US version of TNT

        Reruns of "ER" began Sunday September 6, 1989, on US TNT, at 8pm
Eastern, with a showing of the 2-hour pilot, "24 Hours".  It was shown
again at 5pm Eastern on September 7, followed by the next episode in the
series, "Day One", at the regularly scheduled 7pm Eastern rerun slot.  It
is supposed to be shown in consecutive order every weekday (Monday-Friday)
in that time period (check the ER Episode List
<> for updates).

       In addition, TNT kicked off the festivities with an special TNT
edition of the CNN show, "Larry King Live", on Saturday September 19 at 9pm
Eastern, with the cast taking viewers' questions from the set of "ER".

 5.12 	What Emmy award(s) was "ER" nominated for this year?

        The 1997-1998 Emmy nominations were announced on July 23, 1998.
"ER" received sixteen nominations--tied with "The X-Files" as most
nominated series--in the following categories:

  Casting, Series
  Directing, Drama Series (Thomas Schlamme, "Ambush")
  Single-Camera Picture Editing, Series (Kevin Casey, "Exodus")
  Lighting Direction (Electronic) ("Ambush")
  Lead Actor, Drama Series (Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene)
  Lead Actress, Drama Series (Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hathaway)
  Supporting Actor, Drama Series (Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter)
  Supporting Actor, Drama Series (Eriq LaSalle as Dr. Peter Benton)
  Supporting Actress, Drama Series (Laura Innes as Dr. Kerry Weaver)
  Supporting Actress, Drama Series (Gloria Reuben as Jeanie Boulet)
  Guest Actress, Drama Series (Swoosie Kurtz as Tina-Marie Chambliss)
  Outstanding Drama Series
  Sound Editing, Series ("Exodus")
  Sound Mixing, Drama Series ("Ambush")
  Sound Mixing, Drama Series ("Exodus")
  Technical Direction/Camera/Video, Series ("Ambush")

        For more Emmy information, check out the official Emmy web page at

        The 1997-1998 Emmy telecast was shown on Sunday September 13, 1998 on
NBC; ER won two awards: Sound Editing, Series ("Exodus") and Technical
Direction/Camera/Video, Series ("Ambush").

        5.121  What other awards has "ER" been nominated for/won?

        To date, "ER" has received 14 Emmys.

        ER was nominated for seven 1997 Golden Globe Awards, as follows:
           Best Television Series - Drama
           Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
                Julianna Margulies
           Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
                George Clooney
                Anthony Edwards
           Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series,
            Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television
                Gloria Reuben
           Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series,
            Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television
                Eriq La Salle
                Noah Wyle
       -(Information courtesy "NBC: TV Central")

        The 1997 Golden Globe Awards show was broadcast on January 18th,
        1998. Anthony Edwards won in his category.  The previous Sunday
        (1/11/98), ER won Best Dramatic Series in the dubious [ahem] "People's
        Choice Awards".

        ER was nominated for three 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards, as
           Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series:
                Anthony Edwards
           Outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series:
                Julianna Margulies in ER (Warner Bros/NBC)
           Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series
        -(Information courtesy The Screen Actors Guild <>)

        The Fourth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was shown on March 6,
        1998 on TNT; ER swept all three categories.

        If anyone has complete information about "ER"'s achievements in
        any other entertainment industry awards, please email me

 5.13  	Does Michael Crichton have any real medical experience?

        Michael Crichton graduated from Harvard Medical School.
While a student, he worked at Massachusetts General Hospital, and it
was his experiences there that form the core of his non-fiction book
about working at a hospital, "Five Patients".

 5.14  	Why was Carter around for so long as just a medical student?

        In real life, the rotation for a medical ER student is
supposed to be a maximum of six to twelve weeks, yet Carter was on
his rotation for a year of the series.  There`s no real explanation
for this, just that the character is very popular and the writers
suspended disbelief by having him stay.

        In the second season, there was slightly more justification
for Carter`s presence, in that he received a surgical sub-internship
to work at the hospital at the end of the first season.  I`m told
that sub-internships (or "sub-I`s") still only last a little longer
than a med student rotation, so Carter`s year-long stay is still
somewhat unrealistic.

        In the third season, Carter undertook his actual internship, so his
presence finally made real sense. [The fourth season, of course, really
confused things when Carter`s newly-assigned med students were shown, er,
rotating correctly.  Ahh, TeeVee.]

        5.141  Is he still an intern?

        Good question.

        A plot twist that carried over from the end of season three, through
        season four, had Our Man Carter switching his internship from surgery
        (S3) to emergency medicine (S4).  Part of this "twist", by necessity,
        meant that he would in effect be a second-year intern [technically, a
        second-year overall resident, while at the same time, a first-year ER
        intern.  And Hilarity Ensued.].  Unless he can find more Angst to
        pursue, residency-wise, S5 should find him a full-fledged second-year
        ER resident/third-year overall. [And apparently, it has. Beard-n-all.]

        5.142  So what's with that Beard, anyway?

        The Beard Is Life!  [No wait, that's the spice.  Not to be confused
        with the Spice Girls.  Though some Internet Loonies think the Beard
        is quite Scary.  I know the Spice Girls scare the beejezus outta me.
        And boy, do I digress.]

        Except for the thought that the current (as of 9/24/98)
        Noah Wyle/John Carter Beard is a bit too shaggy (as opposed to the
        season 5 opener Beard, which I kinda liked), I think it adds Character
        to his character.  But why ask me, wadda I know? Let's ask The Beard,
        Itself.  Alan Sepinwall, of the "Star-Ledger" did. Like ta see it?
        here it goes...<>

        ...and there it goes: The Beard, He Is No More; a casualty of
        "Stuck On You" [506], beardless Carter returns.  Let us bow our heads,
        Doug-like, in a Moment Of Silence.  No sticking your tongues out, you
        no-beard-Carter fanatics.

 5.15  	Why was Carter referred to as "Doctor" while he was still a student?

        The explanation given is that patients are made to feel more
at ease if they believe they`re being examined by a real doctor.
[This makes it all the more interesting that in season five, Carter
refers to his own medical student as "Miss Knight" in front of patients.
Hmmm...]  Some people have reported that this is semi-common, or at least
acceptable, practice at some hospitals; others have claimed that this
is totally unethical.

        Students are given nametags that have their names on it, but
not "Dr." or "M.D.".  They`re taught not to be forward with the fact
that they`re only students, but not to be evasive about it either.

        At the end of the second season, Carter graduated from med
school and received his medical degree, so he`s officially a doctor

 5.16  	Is Carter wealthy?

        In the episode "Love Among the Ruins" [123], it's revealed
that Carter's father is one of the wealthiest men in Chicago, worth
$178 million.  (In that episode, a rich patron of the hospital who
recently paid for a new cardiac wing discovers that his son and
Carter went to prep school together.)  Carter's wealthy background
isn't brought up much [make that, wasn't...until the fourth season,
in the "How To Get That Anna Chick All Hot And Bothered" arc], but
it's fairly evident that he doesn't have a problem affording things,
unlike the heavily-indebted residents.

        ...of course, "wealthy" is relative </bad pun>: Gamma Carter, in
retaliation for Carter not being fully up-front about Chase's drug
addiction (which she believes, in turn, "caused" Chase's overdose), took
away Carter's Trust Fund in "Gut Reaction" [418], with the Ensued Hijinx
beginning in "Shades of Gray" [419].  Poor Little Rich Boy...

 5.17 	Is [Character X] a resident or an attending physician?

        As we near the middle of season five, this is the lineup, generally

       -Lucy Knight, the New Kid On The Block, is a third-year medical
        student, pretty much like Carter was when he first arrived on the
        scene at County. [Contrary to the funny, but erroneous,
        Young Female Doctor Void-filler tag bestowed upon the actress
        playing her, the Knight character isn't yet a doctor.  Though that
        mever stopped anyone referring to Young Carter thusly...]

       -John Carter and Maggie Doyle are both third-year residents; however,
        as noted above, Carter is only a second-year ER resident, so Doyle
        outranks him [but since Doyle will likely continue to be doyled, you
        wouldn't know it from watching...]

       -Peter Benton is in the sixth year of his surgical residency
        (Elizabeth Corday's training made her the equivalent but in season
        five, she majically became an intern again.  This is the part
        requiring Math.)

       -Mark Greene was a fourth-year resident in the first season of the
        show; now, he is finished with his residency, and works as an
        attending, as does Kerry Weaver [who, by her own hand, resigned first
        as *ACTING* Chief, then as -Interim- Chief.  But that's Another
        Story]. Most of the "upper-level" doctors seen on the show, like
        Hicks, Kaysen, Vucelich, etc., are also attending physicians.

       -Prior to season five, Doug Ross was a Pediatric Fellow--that is to say,
        he is finished with his residency (which is traditionally two years
        long), but instead of working as an attending (at that point), his
        position with the hospital was there because of a fellowship grant.
        In season five, Doug gave up his Fellowship and became a Pediatric

See FAQ Section 6 ("Medical Questions") for detailed info on the ER hierarchy.

 5.18  	Did Carol try to commit suicide?  Why?

        In the show`s pilot episode, "24 Hours", Carol attempted
suicide by swallowing a bottle of pills.

        Originally, the writers had planned to kill Carol off at that
point, but test audiences liked the character too much, so she made a
recovery in the second episode.

        Since it happened before the first episode took place, the
impetus for Carol`s suicide isn`t very well documented, but we do
know that it partially resulted from a recent, badly-ended
relationship with Doug Ross, and stemmed from other factors as well.

 5.19  So, are Doug and Carol hitched yet?

        At a time before the first episode took place, Carol and Doug
were involved in a relationship that lasted for two years.
It is known that the relationship ended partially, but
possibly not completely, due to Doug`s habits of drinking and

        During the first season, Doug tried to win Carol back, but by
that point, she was engaged to be married to John Taglieri.  In "ER
Confidential" [109], Carol reveals to Tag that she slept with Doug in
a moment of weakness after she had started seeing Tag (at a time
before the series began).  Carol and Doug shared an unexpected kiss
in "Another Perfect Day" [107].  Also, during another brief period of
vulnerability, after her adoption of a little Russian girl with AIDS
was rejected, Carol tried to kiss Doug, but he gently declined her
advance ("Sleepless in Chicago" [118]).

        After Carol broke up with Tag at the end of S1 ("Everything Old Is
New Again" [125]), she hooked up with Raymond "Shep" Shepard, an
EMT/Paramedic that she got along famously with.  Until he went bonkers over
what he saw as his contribution to crispy-crittering his partner Raul ("The
Healers" [216]). Things went rapidly downhill, she showed him The Hand,
and he left... anyway, after Carol broke up with Tag at the end of S1, and Shep
in S2, both she and Doug appeared to be over each other, and their
relationship matured into a healthy, supportive friendship...

        ...which, at the end of the third season ("One More For The Road"
[322]), evolved into a deeper relationship.  It remains to be seen whether it
will stay "healthy" and "supportive", though it appears to be, at least much
more so than the first go-round.  In "Ground Zero" [406] and later, "Fathers
and Sons" [407], they expressed feelings of love for each other...

        ...which, in "Do You See What I See?" [410], led to a proposal of
sorts. Uh, of marriage. I think.  Paramedics have come and gone, but
they're still hanging on.  By a thread?  Hmmm...

        And we won't even mention the "She's Having My Baby" season five arc.
[Nope, won't mention it at all. Nosirree, not one little peep.  Won't hear
a thing from me about it.  Nuh uh.  Not a thing.  My lips are sealed.]

[Tune in tomorrow for another edition of, "As The Bedpan Turns"...]

 5.20  	Was/is Doug an alcoholic?

        Early in the series, much was made of Doug`s drinking
problem, but this particular character trait isn`t emphasized as much
as it is with some of television`s other alcoholic characters.

        In a second season episode, "And Baby Makes Two" [205],
Harper asks Doug how he handles all the trauma and stress of being a
doctor, to which he replies, "Usually I drink, but I`m not a very
good role model."  Later in the season, however, Mark and Susan were
seen buying marguerita mix for Doug`s birthday, so one might presume
that his problem isn`t so bad that his friends are willingly
encouraging it.

        My take on this is: While it`s certainly not healthy for Doug
to be drinking, we haven`t seen it adversely affect his work
performance (i.e. he doesn`t come in to work drunk, or drink at home
when he`s supposed to be at work).  This leads me to suspect that
Doug`s drinking problem is not as serious as alcoholism is generally
portrayed on television, or perhaps that it has been tempered in
recent times.  There`s nothing unrealistic about the depiction of
Doug`s drinking, at any rate; many people all over the world drink on
a regular basis, often for the wrong reasons, yet manage to keep it
from destroying their livelihood. -(Information courtesy Scott Hollifield).

 5.21  	Does Doug have a son?

        Yes.  Though the writers seem to have forgotten it. Thank goodness.

        Only two episodes mention it, however.  In "Hit and Run" [104], Doug
is asked by a patient`s father if he has any children, and he says that he
has a son.  In "Luck of the Draw" [113], he`s asked the same thing by a
patient, and replies, "I have a son; he`s eight."  Having overheard this,
Nurse Wendy Goldman later says, "I didn`t know you had a son.  What`s his
name?"  Doug says, "I don`t know, Wendy, I`ve never seen him."

        The conventional wisdom is that this son is the result of a
liaison Doug once had with a woman he no longer keeps in touch with,
and that the child was very likely born after Doug and the woman had
severed ties.   One theory is that Doug left this woman after finding
out she was pregnant, because he couldn`t bear the responsibility of
fathering a child.  [My personal favorite theory is that Doug was a circus
worker who, upon being stomped upside the head by an elephant with Issues,
Got Amnesia and...uh, wait, that's my favorite "Days Of All My Young And
Beautiful Children" theory.  Never mind...]

 5.221  Are George Clooney and Rosemary Clooney related?

        Rosemary Clooney, a prominent cabaret singer from the `40s and
`50s, is George Clooney`s aunt.  Rosemary guest-starred on two
episodes of "ER" [103 and 111] as Mrs. Cavanaugh, a.k.a. "Madame X",
a mystery woman with Alzheimer`s who wandered the halls of the
hospital singing.  Her character`s name wasn`t revealed until near
the end of her second appearance, when her daughter showed up to
claim her.

        Although her voice has deteriorated somewhat to emphysema,
Rosemary Clooney still enjoys a successful career, singing in concert
halls and recording big band and jazz standards.

 5.222  Are George Clooney and Nick Clooney related?

        Again, yes!  Nick Clooney is George`s father (and Rosemary`s
brother).  Nick Clooney has had a fairly prominent career in
broadcasting, and is best known for hosting movie presentations on
cable television`s American Movie Classics.  AMC even has a Web page
for Nick, if you can believe that, with a picture and some
biographical information.  It`s at:


*5.23  	Is George Clooney leaving the show?

        Yep.  The end of the fifth season will be his last as a regular.  For
those one or two Doug/Clooney worshippers out there, there's yet hope: first,
he's not gone yet [repeat after me: "*end* of the fifth season...*end* of the
fifth season..." Now, breathe...good... *uh, make that the end of February.
Much to the chagrin of the Cloonatics, Doug Ross' time as a regular, is coming
up quickly].  Second, he remains on Good Terms With The Brass, and wants to
come back from time to time to maybe, say, visit with Carol and the quints.


        At any rate, the producers don't yet know (or, to probably be more
accurate, still aren't telling) how Doug Ross will be "written out"; again,
in an interview with Jefferson Graham of "USA TODAY", when he asked Lydia
Woodward directly about the issue, she said they "haven't decided" how they'll
write Clooney out of the show, but "we are talking about it".  And what of
last year's rumor about "ending with a bang"?  "'I would seriously doubt it,'
she says. 'But I would hesitate to rule anything out.'"

        And The Man Hissef?  Oh, I think he'll be Alright.  Call it a hunch.
His production company has a deal with CBS (originally with NBC) to develop
pilots.  Plus, he's been in a movie or two...but do I hear someone out
there moaning, "well, so was Caruso"?  Hmmm...time will tell...

 5.24 	Is Sherry Stringfield ever coming back?

        The short answer is: We don`t know.

        My own personal prediction is: Probably not.

        Sherry left the show in 1996 for a variety of reasons, one
of which was that she wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend.
She and said boyfriend have since split amicably, prompting much
speculation that Sherry may now be "free" to return.  Such reasoning
overlooks a couple of things:

        One is that Sherry`s agreement with the producers involved
extracting her from her contract with "ER".  In return, she is
legally obligated to stay off of television for the remainder of
that contract, which would conclude sometime around the end of 1998.
While it`s possible that she and the show`s producers may find some
way for her to slide out of that obligation, just as they did for
her to slide out of her contract in the first place, I don`t like
to bet on lightning striking twice in the same place.

        Another thing to keep in mind is that Sherry`s boyfriend
was far from the only thing that motivated her to leave "ER".
She was getting exhausted and stressed-out due to the rigors of
the show`s grueling shooting schedule, and apparently was even
beginning to question whether or not she wanted to work in
television at all.  She was *so* willing to leave, that she and
the producers went to these extraordinary measures to get her
out of the show.  It`s unlikely then, in my view, that she will want
to hurriedly reverse such a carefully thought-out decision.
-(Information courtesy Scott Hollifield).

 5.26  	Was Harper`s name "Harper Tracy" or "Tracy Harper"?

        It`s Harper Tracy.  Her first name is Harper, and her last
name is Tracy.

        Confusion over this issue arose when Harper introduced
herself [201] to Mark as "Harper Tracy", and Mark, misunderstanding,
introduced himself by saying "Greene, Mark."

        There`s also a certain amount of confusion due to the fact
that Carter is called by his last name -- so why isn`t Harper?  The
fact is that some characters are routinely called by their last
names, and some are called by their first names.  Carter has stated
before that his friends call him "Carter" anyhow.  (This hasn`t
stopped some characters, like Harper and Chloe, from addressing him
as "John".)

 5.27  	What`s the cause of Kerry Weaver`s disability?

        The source of Kerry`s leg injury has never been mentioned on
the show, despite some people thinking that they may remember having
heard it.

        Recently, Laura Innes stated in an interview that she and
the writers have come up with a specific origin for Kerry`s
disability, but it won`t be worked into the show until they have
an appropriate story to put it in. [Though I have no idea why they don't
just find Lucy...I mean, Baby Suzie's Elephants.]

 5.28  	What`s the "Top Gun" connection to "ER"?

        Several "ER" actors appeared in the film _Top Gun_, which
people seem to be constantly discovering anew (and posting their
discovery to the net).

        The actors who fit this description are:

        Anthony Edwards
                Plays Dr. Mark Greene on "ER"
                Played "Goose" in "Top Gun".

        Rick Rossovich
                Played Dr. John "Tag" Taglieri on "ER"
                Played "Slider" in "Top Gun".

        Michael Ironside
                Played Dr. William "Wild Willie" Swift on "ER"
                Played "Jester" in "Top Gun".

 5.29  	What`s the "China Beach" connection to "ER"?

        One of "ER"`s writer/producers, John Wells, served a similar
function on ABC`s critically-acclaimed Vietnam drama "China Beach".
He reportedly brought some of his old "China Beach" staff members
with him to "ER".

        Two actresses from that show have also made appearances on
"ER".  Marg Helgenberger, who played K.C. Koloski on "China Beach",
has a recurring "ER" role as Karen Hines, Doug`s former love
interest.  Megan Gallagher, otherwise known as Wayloo Marie Holmes on
"China Beach", has also appeared a couple of times on "ER" as Kathy
Snyder, the hospital`s legal counsel.  (Some speculated that Kathy
was a potential romantic match-up for Mark Greene when the two bumped
into each other at a singles bar.)

        Christine Elise, who played med student Harper Tracy in
"ER"`s second season, also appeared on China Beach, coincidentally
playing the grown daughter of Marg Helgenberger`s character; like
Marg`s "ER" character, Christine`s China Beach character was named

        Several other China Beach supporting characters have shown
their faces on "ER", including Colleen Flynn (Colleen Richard), who
played Jodi O`Brian in "Love Labor`s Lost" [119], and Brian Wimmer
(Boonie Lanier), who showed up in "Last Call" [304] as a welder
attracted to Jeanie Boulet.

 5.30  	What`s the "St. Elsewhere" connection to "ER"?

        Eric Laneuville, who played orderly Luther Hawkins on "St.
Elsewhere" -- and went on to direct several of that show`s more
memorable episodes -- has directed one episode of "ER" as well,
"Summer Run" [202].  He also appeared in a brief cameo as an unnamed
character in "Do One, Teach One, Kill One" [203].  (It`s also worth
noting that on "St. Elsewhere", Eric`s character later received
additional training, first as a paramedic and later as a physician
assistant [PA], which is what Jeanie Boulet is on "ER".)

 5.31  	Why did Mark and his wife split up?

        The troubled marriage of Mark and Jennifer (or Jenn) Greene
hit many bumps on the way down.

        During the first season, Mark drew the wrath of his wife by
accepting an attending position at the hospital without consulting
her first.  Jenn had her eye on a similarly juicy position at a law
firm in Milwaukee.  Jenn took her position as well, and this caused
the two to begin spending time apart.  Eventually, Mark compromised
by regularly commuting via train from Milwaukee to Chicago, while
their young daughter Rachel lived in Milwaukee with Jenn.

        However, in the episode "Home" [208], Jenn and Rachel were in
an auto accident on the way home from an office Christmas party.
Only Jenn was hurt, and then not seriously, but when he visited them
in the hospital soon after, Mark discovered that the driver of the
car was Craig Simon, one of Jenn`s fellow law clerks.  Jenn admitted
that she`d been having an affair with Craig.

        Since then, Mark and Jenn have been officially quits.  As of
the end of the second season, their divorce is more or less final,
and they`ve agreed to share custody of Rachel.  In addition, Jenn has
announced that she and Craig plan to marry, which has probably
happened by now.

 5.32  	Are Mark and Susan going to get together?

        Always good friends, it looked as if Mark and Susan were
finally going to get together romantically during the third season
thus fulfilling a lot of viewers` wishes.

        This story turned into heartbreak for poor Mark, however, when
Susan announced that she was leaving for Phoenix to be with her
sister Chloe and family.  In the episode "Union Station" [308], Susan
made good on this ambition, and left on a train never to be seen

        Naturally, this means that Mark and Susan will not be
getting together after all.

[, why does the phrase "famous last words" keep coming to mind?

 5.331  Did Amanda Plummer play Susan`s sister Chloe?

        No.  This is a very common misapprehension, however.

        Firstly, the actress who played Chloe (Kathleen Wilhoite) and
Amanda Plummer share a certain distinctive acting style that makes it
easy for some people to confuse the two.

        Secondly, both actresses appeared on the show "L.A. Law",
each one playing a character who was romantically involved with
Benny, the mentally disabled man who was a regular character on the
series during its later years.  Hence, people who answer this
question by saying that "Chloe is the same woman as Benny`s
girlfriend on L.A. Law" are really only muddying the issue further.

 5.332  Does Mariska Hargitay (Cynthia Hooper) look like Sandra Bullock?

 		Yes, definitely.
        Uh, no, not at all.
        (In other words, it depends on who you ask.)

[However, she unquestionably looks like Kathleen Wilhoite. Or is it
 Amanda Plummer?  I forget. And digress.]

 5.34  	Where did Div Cvetic (Susan`s boyfriend) disappear to?

        During the first season, Susan dated one of the psych
department doctors, Div Cvetic.  However, Div gradually became
chronically depressed for reasons that are still a mystery.  His
depression manifested itself as an increasing hostility toward his
patients.  He failed to show up for Thanksgiving dinner at Susan`s
place, in "ER Confidential" [109], and at the end of that episode, we
see a troubled-looking Div darting on foot in the middle of downtown
traffic.  This is the last we ever see of him.  Two episodes later,
in "The Gift" [111], Susan arrives home (they were living together)
to find that Div had disappeared, and moved all of his belongings
out, without any notice or warning.

	Later in the year (in "Love Among the Ruins", [123]), Susan
discovers a recent snapshot of Div in a dating service book owned by
a taxi driver who runs the dating service on the side.  Div is
apparently one of the cabbie`s success stories; he tells Susan that
thanks to his service, Div is happily married to a woman to owns a
chain of mortuaries.  This seems to present pretty firm evidence that
wherever Div is, he`s living a life far removed from the show`s
characters, and will therefore likely not return any time soon.

 5.35  	Where did Randi go?  (Recurring characters)

       	Randi (as well as E. Ray, Dr. Morganstern, and a
slew of other characters) is only a recurring character.  Kristin Minter,
who plays her, is not a member of the main cast, and therefore will not
appear in every episode.  In fact, weeks may go by (and have gone by)
without her appearing.  Unlike the main cast actors, she is signed up
for only a handful of episodes at a time, until such time that the
producers decide to add her to the main cast (which they may well never
do). [Small matter, though.  She'll be immortalized forever for
"RANDIwear!"; and as with most of the recurring characters, she'll always
hold a Special Place In Our Hearts.  I have to stop now; I'm getting
all misty and sh tuff.]

 5.36  	Where did "Wild Willie" go?

        In the episode "Sleepless in Chicago" [118], Dr. Morganstern
announces that he`s going to be leaving Cook County to head up a new
residency program in Boston.  His replacement, Dr. William Swift,
appears two episodes later ("Full Moon, Saturday Night"), and it
looked like Morgenstern was gone for good.

        Swift was given the name "Wild Willie" because Tag, who knew
him at Ohio State, mentions that they used to call him that.  Indeed,
this nickname grew to be so pervasive that many "ER" viewers seem to
only remember him by it.

        However, in the first episode of the second season ("Welcome
Back, Carter" [201]), suddenly Swift was gone, and Morgenstern was
back.  The reason for this is that in between seasons, Michael
Ironside, who played Dr. Swift, was offered the lead role on NBC`s
science fiction series "SeaQuest 2032" (replacing that show`s former
lead, Roy Scheider).  He took the job, and helmed the sinking series
during its third and final season.

        No explanation was offered on the show as to where Swift
went, although we did get a reason why Morgenstern returned [202]:
the residency program he was supposed to lead was fouled up by
bureaucracy, and never got off the ground.

        ...but, proving once again that in TeeVee Land, a character
shouldn't be counted out until they are dead (and even then...), Wild
Willie returned unto the fold: in "Think Warm Thoughts" [411],
Swift returned to the ER as an Attending Physician for Synergix, this
time without much fanfare.  And, just as quickly, left.

 5.37 	Where did Bob go?

        A timid Polish woman who worked in the ER during the early
first season, she had a name that apparently no one could pronounce
(or want to, anyway), so the ER staffers re-dubbed her "Bob".

        She appeared scatteringly over the course of the first
season, gradually asserting herself while working for the
administrative desk.  An interesting thread was raised with her
character in "Blizzard" [110], when Bob impulsively jumped in the
middle of a failing operation and saved a patient with some impromptu
(and surprising) surgical work.  Afterward, she revealed that she had
been a surgeon in Poland, but had no license to practice medicine in
America.  Carter offered to help tutor her if she wanted to pursue

        The last time she appeared, as of this writing, was in
"Summer Run" [202], where she was very efficient at carrying out the
wishes of new chief resident Kerry Weaver (to Doug`s dismay).  Since
then, she hasn`t been on the show at all.

        No one seems to know why, although it`s possible that actress
Malgoscha Gebel (who`s been in Schindler`s List among other films) has
been busy with other work, or otherwise unavailable.  It`s also
possible that the writers have simply deigned not to use the
character, for their own reasons.

        "Just wanted to correct question 5.37.  Malgoscha's last name is
spelled 'Gebel'.  She's Polish born and educated, but a German citizen.
Currently working in Los Angeles as freelance journalist for German TV.
Lives in Berlin part of the year."
-(Information courtesy Tim Lowery)

 5.371	I`ve seen some people on the Internet use the term "bobbed"
        in reference to "ER".  What does it mean?

        As mentioned in the previous question, Bob was a character on
"ER" who stopped appearing with no explanation provided as to why she
wasn`t around anymore.  In her honor, members of the
newsgroup have taken to using the word "bobbed" to refer to any
character who drops out of the show mysteriously.  Susan`s boyfriend,
Div Cvetic, was "bobbed", until they finally explained his disappearance
[5.34].  Timmy, a character who manned the administration desk, was also
"bobbed".  In a sense, a character named Dr. Linda Martins was
"pre-bobbed", since she was announced at the end of the second season to be
the new chief resident, and yet we haven`t seen her at all.

        The term was first used by Peter J. Evans on 4/28/96 in an message about Kerry Weaver (although luckily, Kerry was not
"bobbed").  In a follow-up message, Kim Rivers was the person who
suggested adopting the term as an "official" label.
(-Information provided by Scott Hollifield)

        Recent discussions on a.t.e. have lead The MotherFAQer to question
common usage of the verb "to bob".  Unlike Scott and some others, I don't
think that term can apply equally across the board to just "any" character.
If, as noted above, the state of bobness "refer[s] to any character who
drops out of the show mysteriously", then I posit that characters whose
absence is referenced in any way--no matter how slight--cannot be said to
be bobbed.  Further, though this is of course simply my opinion (I could
gasp!horrors!, be wrong), as I stated in the a.t.e. thread, "Creeping

   "... I'd agree with you that characters like E. Ray, the various
    paramedics, the 'background' nurses, et al, aren't really bobbed
    when they're gone, since they're not really an integral part of
    'everyday' ER to start with.  No slight meant to the actors at all,
    but their characters are akin to the Red Shirts on Star Trek TOS...
    I'd personally consider Dr. Maggie Doyle bobbed as of now, more so
    than, say, Dr. Hicks--simply because Doyle had some semblance of a
    storyline, no matter how slight; Hicks didn't..."

...and from that, and subsequent discussions in that thread, comes the
following question:

 5.372	...And what about "Doyled"?

        On a.t.e., the always-effervescent catherine yronwode (who, by
the way, came up with the funky thread title, "Creeping Bobbism"), said:

   "I agree -- Hicks is around the hospital somewhere, not bobbed (yet)
    but Maggie was in so many episodes and was often shown in the
    locker/coffee room, so that i do consider her one the verge of having
    been bobbed. Or has she actually, truly been bobbed an i just don't
    realize it yet? Like ai [sic] asked before -- how long an absense
    must we witness before we realize that there is bobbery afoot?"

...and later, in that same thread, Marny Helfrich asked:

   " there a term for characters who were once regulars and then
    vanish from sight but are mentioned occassionally?"

...thus, starting the Great Debate (ok, actually, a few folks just threw
some terms around).  After long, laborious hours of intense negotations
in smoke-ridden coffee houses with much bloodletting occuring, terms like
"demibob (for demicharacters)" by Rebecca McQuitty, or Scott's
"quasi-bobbed" and "proto-bobbed" (my early favorite) were tossed aside
like the redheaded stepchyldrun they are in favor of catherine yronwode's
"Doyled"--as in:

   "Was he Bobbed?"
   "No, i think they're just Doyling him for the time-being."

 5.38  	What does "CCH" mean in "CCH Pounder"?

        CCH Pounder is the actress who plays Dr. Angela Hicks, a
staff surgeon who is occasionally seen in a supervisory capacity,
particularly with Peter Benton.

        "CCH" are her initials.  She doesn`t use periods to set them
apart like most people, which is what seems to confuse some folks.
(ER`s use of lower-case screen credits has also led some to
mistakenly wonder if "Cch" was actually a name.)

        Her initials are derived from the name she was born with in
Guyana: Carol Christine Hilaria.

[And, for all those on who are waiting breathlessly for the
Definitive Enunciation Guide, it`s pronounced "CeeCeeAich".  The
alternative, of course, being "K-E-R-R-Y".]

 5.39  	What does Quentin Tarantino have to do with "ER"?

        The popular director of "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" also
directed an episode of "ER".  Titled "Motherhood" [124], it originally
aired on May 11, 1995 (near Mother`s Day).

        The episode had a few signature Tarantino touches, notably
some slightly grislier-than-usual surgery scenes.  Having already
been repeated twice (most recently in March `96), it probably won`t
be rerun (on NBC) for a while.

        Tarantino did not actually appear in the episode himself, but
he did appear with George Clooney in the film "From Dusk Till Dawn",
directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Tarantino.

 5.391  Are any other famous directors slated to work on "ER"?

        It was reported not too long ago that Joel Schumacher
("Batman & Robin", "A Time To Kill") would be directing an episode
of "ER" at some point during the fourth season.

[But some rumors are too nasty to even contemplate.]

 5.40  	Which "ER" characters are Jewish?

        In "A Miracle Happens Here" [210], Mark Greene describes
himself as "the son of an agnostic Jew and a lapsed Catholic",
although he doesn`t identify which side of his family is Jewish.  His
part of that episode`s story involves him rediscovering an aspect of
his faith, and at the end of the show, he helps a Jewish family
celebrate Chanukah.

        Dr. Morgenstern identified himself once as half-Jewish, half-
"genuine Highland Scots".  In that episode ("True Lies", [212]),
Morgenstern celebrates Robert Burns` birthday, a Scottish tradition.

 5.41 	I heard something on the news about the guy who plays Malik.
		What happened?

["HE DID IT!!!".  Or was it The Paramedic?]

        Actor/rapper Deezer D. (real name: Dearon Thompson), who plays
Nurse Malik McGrath on the show, was arrested on May 16, 1996 in Los
Angeles for allegedly making threatening phone calls to his girlfriend
and resisting arrest, according to UPI.  As of late May, he was
awaiting a court hearing.  [Funny, I think to myself, how this piece of
"news" never went anywhere.  But it serves as a great segue to the next bit]:

[For a parody on MALIK, The Paramedic, and other ER Conspiracies,
check out the "Official 'Malik Did It!!!' Brigade" page at

 5.43  	Did "ER" go live?

        You betcha!  Needless to say, this was an enormous challenge,
especially for a show like "ER", with its fast-paced and highly technical
production standards.

        The show was done live on the East and West coasts, with some
minor(?) differences due to the nature of live television.

        According to Mr. Showbiz <>,
        "The episode [focused] on Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), who was
brutally beaten last season and was still trying to overcome his feelings
of fear. [Writer/producer John] Wells says that Greene is `in the same
emotional state we left him at the end of last season, reeling from his
violent assault and trying not to admit what`s going on in his life.` The
episode [was] shot documentary-style on the show`s regular set, and the
cast [rehearsed] the show about eight times before airing."

        For more details on Live ER, check out Scott Hollifield`s
review/summary on the episode <>,
titled "Ambush", and also NBC`s ERLive website <>.

        5.431  Will they do it again?

        Well, in a word, no.

        Once again, quoting Lydia Woodward, in her interview with Jefferson
        Graham of "USA TODAY": "'We're still really happy we did it. It was
        an amazing experience,' says Woodward of last season's live episode.
        'But it's not something we want to repeat.'"

 5.44  	Who played the sleeping doctor in the 9/26/96 episode?

        In "Dr. Carter, I Presume" [301], Carter has to wake up a
sleeping surgeon to ask about a patient`s treatment.  The sleeping
doctor, whose name is Dr. Karubian and whose face we never see, was a
cameo role for none other than David Schwimmer, who plays Ross on
"Friends".  NBC has confirmed Schwimmer`s appearance and has said that
no further appearances are planned.  (The doctor was not played by
Chicago Hope`s Adam Arkin, as some have speculated.)

 5.45  	When did Peter and Jeanie date?

        From the moment Jeanie Boulet was introduced on the show in
the first season, it was pretty apparent that the writers were going
to have her and Peter get involved romantically; the question was,
when?  She first appeared as a physical therapist, and was assigned
the task of caring for Peter`s ailing mother.  Caring for her brought
Peter and Jeanie closer, and closer still when Mrs. Benton died.

        Although Jeanie was married, she and Peter fell into a
relationship which was mostly carried on off-camera, during the
summer break between the first and second seasons.  (In the second
season opener, "Welcome Back, Carter" [201], when Peter and Jeanie
are shown in bed together, it`s the first notice at all that they`re
an actual item.)  Despite the fragility of her marriage, Jeanie tells
Peter in "Do One, Teach One, Kill One" [203] that she`s not ready to
walk out on her husband, and she and Peter part.

        A month later ("Days Like This", [206]), Jeanie came to the
hospital to work full-time as a physician`s assistant, which results
in some awkwardness between her and Peter.  Despite the fact that her
marriage with Al Boulet did eventually end (though they`re still
legally married), she and Peter sustain an emotionally distant if
generally professional relationship.  Recent developments with Jeanie
testing HIV-positive (via Al) have not fundamentally changed this.

        5.451  "Reese"? "Reece"?  How _is_ that child's name spelled?

        Another good question.  And I rail mightily against the answer.

        Peter Benton and his ex-girlfriend Carla Reese/Reece had a
        premature [and beautiful--or more precisely, the child playing
        their son is beautiful; an absolute doll.  Early Baby Benton was a
        _real_ doll.  But I digress] baby boy in "Make A Wish" [321].  Up
        until Phyl Behrer pointed out a scene in "Tribes" [317] that goes
        against all pre-existing logic, I thought I knew what Carla's last,
        and the boy's first, name was: "Reese", of course.  After all,
        that's how it's spelled Everywhere Else I Looked.  But the evidence
        in that episode is undeniable.  As Phyl said, "at the end of the
        episode, Peter spots a tape that's labeled:

              Reece, Carla
              Fetal Ultrasound

              And it has the date."

        Now, I wanted to believe that the (mis)spelling was just an ER goof.
        But to be so accurate with the date, yet clumsy with the name,
        would be, well, just plain dumb.  So, Bammer sez (against everything
        that Makes Sense In My World) that "Reece" is the word.  sigh.

        5.452  Is Reese/Reece...ahhh hell, Baby Boy Benton, deaf?

        [My oh my, aren't _we_ full of    good questions?]

        As mentioned above, Carla and Peter had Reese/Reece prematurely (er,
        literally and figuratively); at the end of season 3, it looked like
        they were Headed For Rough Times with him, in his perilous condition--
        but that never really took hold during S4 [aka "the wonder year"; aaka
        "Cupid's Revenge".  But yet again, I digress.] and he seemed to come
        away totally unaffected.  However, S4 ended with a question in the
        air: is Reese/Reece deaf?   And as we find out in S5, the answer
        is, yes.

 5.46  	Is Peter HIV-positive?


        Debate about this arose after Jeanie Boulet was revealed to
have been infected with the HIV virus via her husband Al, who was
promiscuous during their marriage.  Jeanie and Peter had a brief
affair during the early second season.

        In the early third season, Peter was tested, and his test
came back negative.  There seems to be some isolated confusion about
this on Usenet because we the viewers didn`t actually hear anyone
tell Peter, out loud, of his HIV-negative status; all we see is
Peter`s reaction while listening to an unheard voice on the
telephone.  Peter subsequently tells Jeanie that his tests came back
negative.  Some people believed Peter`s reaction to the phone call to
be sufficiently ambiguous to cause speculation that his tests were in
fact positive, and that he lied to Jeanie, but in my opinion, there
is no issue; watching Peter`s expressions and behavior with any
amount of attention should confirm that he`s relieved, albeit a
little stressed, as a result of that phone call.

 5.48 	Who assaulted Mark Greene?

        In "Random Acts" [320], Mark is the victim of a brutal
attack by a hooded man, in one of the hospital`s restrooms.
Mark had interacted that day with several hostile people, all
patients or relatives of patients, and after recovering, was
convinced that one of them was the person who attacked him.

        The most likely suspect, as Mark saw it, was a young black
man named Chris Law, whose brother Kenny had died in the ER while
undergoing treatment for a gunshot wound.  Kenny was an innocent
bystander in the gun battle that claimed his life, but Chris
believed that Kenny received sub-standard treatment in the ER
due to being black, and blamed Mark especially for his brother`s
death.  He confronted Mark after his mother received the bill
from the hospital, saying that they wouldn`t pay it, and if they
ever got another bill, "maybe I`m gonna kick some ass.  Maybe
I`ll start with yours"; (but in "Do you see what I see?" [410],
Mark  admits that Chris wasn't his attacker, which Chris acknowledges).
Mark was also threatened that same day by an irate father who didn`t
like the fact that his daughter was being treated by an intern, and
also by a deranged patient in a wheelchair.

        However, the police inform Mark that they`ve checked
out all the possible suspects (i.e. people who confronted Mark)
and they all turned up clean.  Later, a detective tells Mark
that they`ve apprehended a man who attacked a doctor at another
hospital.  This would seem to indicate that the attacker, if it`s
the same man, is a serial mugger with a vendetta against doctors.

 5.49   Is it "Jorja Fox" or "Jorjan Fox"?

        The actress who plays Dr. Maggie Doyle currently spells
her name "Jorja Fox".  In her first few appearances on "ER", it
was spelled "Jorjan Fox".  This was not a typo on NBC`s part;
according to one of the show`s writers, Jorjan/Jorja made the
personal decision to change the spelling of her name.

 5.50   Is Maggie Doyle gay?

        It looks that way.  While spending some time with Carter
at a shooting range in "Whose Appy Now?" [314], Maggie spies
a woman who she says is her ex-girlfriend.  In a later episode
("Random Acts", [320]), Maggie responds to a deranged patient
on a biblical rant by saying, "No meat, no men; I`m your woman."

 5.51   Who is currently the ER`s chief resident?

        At the end of the second season ("John Carter, M.D.",
[222]), Susan Lewis was one of the candidates for the position
of ER`s chief resident, a title which was then currently held
by Kerry Weaver, and the year before by Mark Greene.  Mark
made a backchannel deal with Kerry to get Kerry to support
Susan`s candidacy for the position, but Susan withdrew her
name from the running.  The position then went to someone named
Dr. Linda Martins.

        Dr. Martins has never been seen on the show, and her name
has not been mentioned since that episode, which puzzles fans of
the show who tend to keep up with stuff like this.  The simple
answer is that now that the main characters are advancing, none
of them are qualified to be chief resident of the ER anymore,
and so the writers have simply elected to ignore the position
for dramatic reasons.  Mark and Kerry are now both attending
physicians who work in the ER, so they pretty much function in
the same capacity.

        (Now that he`s switched his residency from surgery to
ER medicine, it`s possible that Carter will be qualified for this
position in two or three years.)

 5.52  	Who wrote the famous "book" about the ER staff?
       (new info in SPOILER space)

**NOTE**: This section contains potential spoiler info; if you do not wish
to be thus spoilt, skip to the next section (5.53).

        In "Random Acts" [320], someone finds a notebook under
the admit desk that contains a story written like a sleazy
romance novel depiction of the ER staffers` lives.  Its
characters are thinly-veiled caricatures of the folks who work in
the ER - nurse "Carly Halloran" (Carol Hathaway), attending "Martin
Bean" (Mark Greene) and so on.  To write such a story, someone
must know the real ER staffers personally, and thus it must have
been one of them, but nobody owned up to being the author.

        Several characters on the show decided that Carol must
have been the one to write it, but Carol steadfastly denied it.
It`s possible that this mystery will be cleared up at some point
in the show`s fourth season, and it`s also possible that we`ll never
know who wrote it.

**SPOILER INFO**:  In a recent interview, Laura Innes admitted that Kerry
Weaver *did* write the book. The interview is available at The Unofficial
Laura Innes Fan Page <>
-(Information courtesy Erin "woodford")

 [...which, since I'm sitting here thinking about it, makes ya wonder why
Kerry said she "didn't know" about Doug & Carol's Thing in "Do you see what
I see?" [410].  Of course, Anna saying pretty much the same thing, was a bit
curious, since *she* as much told Doug he was Still In Love with Carol in
"One More For The Road" [322].  Ah well; subtlety evades me once more...]

 5.53  	Did Dennis Gant commit suicide?

        In "Night Shift" [311], the troubled Dennis Gant left work
in the middle of a shift and was later brought in as a patient,
having been run over by a train.  The implication is that Dennis
was suicidally depressed and deliberately jumped in front of the

        There seems to be a little debate about this on the Internet
since we didn`t actually see the event happen, and since the police
ruled the death an accident, but there`s little doubt in my mind that
Dennis` death was a suicide, and I`m sure that`s the way the writers
meant it to come across.

 5.54   Who was Kerry Weaver`s African boyfriend?

        Even though she became a main character in the second
season, Kerry Weaver sort of sticks out because the writers have
rarely shown a non-work-related side of her life.  One stark
exception was in the Christmas episode "A Miracle Happens Here"

        Kerry had planned on working through the holidays, until
she received a surprise visitor in the ER.  A man whom
Kerry called "Mlungisi" came in, and the two started kissing and
hugging as if they were an old couple.  Kerry thereupon announced
that she would not be working the holidays after all; apparently
Mlungisi had flown in from somewhere in Africa to visit her for
Christmas at the last minute.

        When asked about him later, Kerry replied cryptically, "I
had a farm in Africa...", mimicking Meryl Streep from the movie "Out
of Africa" (in which Streep played a Danish baroness who lived in
Kenya for a time).

        Mlungisi has never been mentioned or seen on any other
episode; that`s long-distance relationships for you.

 5.55   Why do the "ER" lockers "move"? Do nurses have lockers? What kinds
         of production mistakes have been made on "ER"? Must All "ER"
         Characters, Eventually, Scromp? (ER FAQtoids)

        You've seen them, I'm sure: the Majical Mistikal Moving Lockers; one
week, Carter's locker is between Doug's and Carol's (and just how'd *she*
rate a locker, anyhoo?), the next, it's clear on the other side of the
room.  How'd they do that?  Well, by golly, burning questions like this are
Too Big For This Here Section, so Phyl Behrer and I decided that she was
gonna tackle them like the quarterback she is ("or something like that")
with a lil' sum'n we like to call "ER FAQtoids".  And now that Retro's
(almost) done, I can Bug Her To Death about it.  Watch this space...

Rose "MotherFAQer" Cooper,
Keeper Of The Mostly New And Somewhat Improved ER FAQ
EMAIL:    ICQ: 7760005

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM