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|Written by||Bernie Orenstein
Bruce A. Young
|Directed by||Peter Bonerz|
Bruce A. Young
|Theme music composer||Jimmy Webb
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Executive producer(s)||Bernie Orenstein
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Embassy Television|
|Distributor||Embassy Telecommunications (1985-1986)
Embassy Communications (1986-1988)
Columbia Pictures Television (1988-1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
|Original release||September 16, 1984– July 24, 1985|
Developed from the long running play of the same name created and produced by the Organic Theater Company under the direction of Stuart Gordon and conceived by Dr. Ronald Berman, the series was produced by Norman Lear and Embassy Television and lasted a single season. Shuko Akune and Bruce A. Young reprised their roles from the original Organic Theater Company production of the play.
The main setting is the emergency room (E/R) of a fictional Clark Street Hospital in Chicago, Illinois; and the stories are centered upon the happenings in the ER and the lives of the doctors who work there. Principal characters include Dr. Howard Sheinfeld (played by Elliott Gould)--a twice divorced ear, nose, and throat specialist who moonlights at the hospital to keep up with his alimony payments—and his colleague (and potential romantic interest) Dr. Eve Sheridan (played by Marcia Strassman in the pilot and by Mary McDonnell thereafter).
While essentially a comedy, E/R also contained dramatic elements stemming from its hospital setting.
Dr. Howard Sheinfeld (Elliott Gould) Twice-divorced Otolaryngologist (his wives were named Phyllis and Sheila) and father of two (David and Jenny), who—in order to keep up his alimony payments to said ex-wives—worked long hours at Clark Street Hospital's emergency room. Despite his joking nature and his constant womanizing, he is a compassionate and well-respected doctor.
Dr. Eve Sheridan (Marcia Strassman in the pilot; Mary McDonnell thereafter) The head doctor in the ER. Born in a medical family (her father was also a doctor), she takes her job very seriously. She tends to come down hard on Howard for his constant joking and his lack of medical protocol, but she is also concerned for him because he works such long hours in the emergency room with absolutely little or nothing to show for it. At times very strict with her staff almost to the point of angering them, but she does mean well. Eve was able to sometimes let her hair down with the staff and was considered their friend.
Nurse Joan Thor (Conchata Ferrell) The head nurse in the ER. She is close friends with Howard and, like Eve, worries about him working such long hours and having nothing to show for it. She has a tough exterior, but a heart of gold. Usually seen talking on the phone to her couch potato husband, Bud Thor. Her nephew, Mark "Ace" Kolmar, who is an EMT, was hired to work in the ER as a technician. Thor was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease late in the series' run.
Nurse Julie Williams (Lynne Moody) Joan's industrious assistant. Her aunt and uncle are George and Louise Jefferson from The Jeffersons. Shares an apartment with receptionist Maria Amardo, to help save money.
Maria Amardo (Shuko Akune) The ER's Filipino-American receptionist. Known for her strict enforcement of the white line rule (Her catch-phrase, "Stay back of the White line!!"). She dates Officer Fred Burdock, the beat cop, but is afraid of marriage due to her interracial parents' own divorce. Shares an apartment with nurse Julie Williams, to help both of them save money.
Nurse Cory Smith (Corinne Bohrer) A pediatric nurse who comes to help in the ER when it gets too busy. Is in love with Howard, who only sees her as a colleague, due to his being burned by his two divorces.
Officer Fred Burdock (Bruce A. Young) The beat cop in the area of Chicago where Clark Street Hospital is located. Dates Maria Amardo, of whom he is insanely jealous, although marriage isn't in the cards due to Maria's fear of divorce. Officer Burdock is also close friends with the rest of the ER staff. Diagnosed with high blood pressure late in the series' run.
A more complete cast list follows:
|Elliott Gould||Dr. Howard Sheinfeld||Series Regular|
|Mary McDonnell||Dr. Eve Sheridan||Series Regular, played by Marcia Strassman in the pilot|
|Conchata Ferrell||Head Nurse Joan Thor||Series Regular|
|Lynne Moody||Nurse Julie Williams||Series Regular|
|Corinne Bohrer||Nurse Cory Smith||Series Regular, but appears on a recurring basis|
|Shûko Akune||Maria Amardo||Series Regular|
|Bruce A. Young||Officer Fred Burdock||Series Regular|
|Robert Rockwell||John Harrison, hospital administrator||Recurring|
|Luis Avalos||Dr. Thomas Esquivel, another doctor||Recurring|
|Karen Black||Sheila Sheinfeld, Howard's first wife||Recurring|
|Jeff Doucette||Bert, paramedic||Recurring|
|George Clooney||Mark "Ace" Kolmar, Thor's nephew and ER technician||Recurring, first appears in episode 14|
|Jason Alexander||Harold Stickley, hospital administrator, after Harrison||Recurring|
|Pamela Segall||Jenny Sheinfeld, Howard's daughter by his first marriage||Recurring|
|Shirley Prestia||Irene, resident hypochondriac||Recurring|
|William G. Schilling||Richard, the orderly||Recurring|
|Patch MacKenzie||Phyllis Sheinfeld, Howard's second wife||Recurring|
The program was canceled after 22 episodes due to low ratings, mainly due to competition from the Top 10 hit The A-Team, despite being placed between the Top 20 hit AfterMASH and the Top 30 hit CBS Tuesday Night Movie.
Reruns aired on cable's Lifetime Television from September 5, 1988 to April 24, 1992.
|Episode #||Title||Original Airdate||Guest Star||Summary|
|1||Pilot (Part 1)||September 16, 1984||Sherman Hemsley||It's a typical night in the ER as Dr. Eve Sheridan (Marcia Strassman - pilot only) starts her first night. A young woman comes into the ER with constipation and gets a big surprise. Meanwhile, Julie's uncle, George Jefferson visits. To be continued...|
|2||Pilot (Part 2)||September 16, 1984||Sherman Hemsley||Part 2 of 2. It's a typical night in the ER as Dr. Eve Sheridan (Marcia Strassman - pilot only) starts her first night. Meanwhile, Julie's uncle, George Jefferson visits.|
|3||"The Sister"||September 18, 1984||Dennis Franz, Anne Schedeen||Eve's sister Karen comes to discuss plans for their ailing father who is about to be released from the hospital, and Howard asks her to a party being thrown by Cory and the pediatric nurses. Meanwhile, a young boy is admitted who appears to have been shaken and a guy comes into the ER after chopping off his finger while slicing bread.|
|4||"My Way"||September 25, 1984||An elderly former baseball player has pancreatic cancer and wants Howard to end his life by a shot. Meanwhile, Nurse Thor has trouble with her lazy husband, Bud, a female patient is not what she seems, a young girl with head pains is brought in by Fred, and Maria gets a hold of a smutty book.|
|5||"Son of Sheinfeld"||October 2, 1984||Jonathan Silverman||Howard's son, David (by his second marriage to Phyllis) shows up at the E/R with a friend who has overdosed. Meanwhile, a member of the hospital administration wants Eve to fire Howard to cut costs, and a teen in fatal condition after a motorcycle accident causes Howard reevaluate his relationship with his son.|
|6||"Save the Last Dance for Me"||October 9, 1984||David Faustino||Eve attempts to get away to attend a law school reunion with an old boyfriend. Howard's ex-wife comes in with big news: she's expecting and she wants to get back together.|
|7||"Say It Ain't So"||October 16, 1984||Howard awaits the results of his ex-wife's pregnancy test. Meanwhile, Eve faces a tough situation when she tells a patient's family he'll be OK and then he passes away.|
|8||"Growing Pains"||October 23, 1984||Howard is bitter that Eve is interviewing candidates for a full-time E/R specialist. Meanwhile, a doctor who retired in 1972, shows up ready for work.|
|9||"All's Well That Ends"||October 30, 1984||Amy Linker, Carolyn Purdy Gordon||Howard is trying to sell his old practice, and a woman shows up in the ER with an unexploded bullet in her arm. A teenage girl who is ignored by her parents and had been drinking is treated.|
|10||"Only a Nurse"||November 7, 1984||Nurse Thor quits over Sheridan's refusal to allow her to make minor medical decisions, and Nurse Cory confesses to Howard she's in love with him. Meanwhile, Howard tries to convince Eve to get him a parking spot for his new car.|
|11||"Sentimental Journey"||November 14, 1984||Howard is dating a 23-year-old aerobics instructor, while Sheridan is attracted to an older Latin gentleman.|
|12||"Mr. Fix-It"||November 21, 1984||Kevin Peter Hall, Christopher Hewett, Jack Kruschen, Max Wright||A hectic night sees the ER visited by Howard and Maria's fathers as well as an injured basketball star.|
|13||"A Cold Night in Chicago"||November 28, 1984||Louis Arquette||A sick boy's parents claim that medical testing would violate their religion, Julie's apartment is burglarized, and an old army buddy whose life he once saved visits Howard.|
|14||"Both Sides Now"||December 12, 1984||Howard is being sued for malpractice, but is doubtful about calling Sheridan as a character witness when she refuses to shade the truth a little, and Nurse Thor's nephew (George Clooney) is hired as an ER tech.|
|15||"The Storm"||December 19, 1984||Martha Quinn||When a blizzard strikes and the staff's replacements don't arrive, Julie is fired for refusing to continue working past her shift, and Jenny wants to come live with her dad.|
|16||"Enter Romance"||December 26, 1984||Karen Black||Howard's first wife drops by to discuss Jenny, Ace asks Sheridan out, and the new hospital administrator (Jason Alexander) makes advances to every woman on the staff.|
|17||"Brotherly Love"||January 16, 1985||The staff relaxes at their favorite hangout, and a romantic interest develops between Dr. Sheridan and Howard's psychologist brother.|
|18||"I Raise You"||January 23, 1985||Howard moves his Saturday-night poker game into the ER, and Ace asks out his daughter Jenny.|
|19||"Merry Wives of Sheinfeld (Part 1)"||January 30, 1985||Karen Black||Both of Howard's ex-wives drop in on a hectic night that sees Nurse Thor worried about her health. Howard's new girlfriend meets his first wife, and the staff tries to help Nurse Thor deal with her discovery that she is seriously ill. To be continued...|
|20||"Merry Wives of Sheinfeld (Part 2)"||February 6, 1985||Karen Black||Both of Howard's ex-wives drop in on a hectic night that sees Nurse Thor worried about her health. Howard's new girlfriend meets his first wife, and the staff tries to help Nurse Thor deal with her discovery that she is seriously ill.|
|21||"All Tied Up"||February 20, 1985||William Zabka||Sheridan loses her life savings because of investment advice from Howard, Maria's boyfriend Fred asks Julie out on a date, and drug thieves strike fear into the staff.|
|22||"A Change in Policy"||February 27, 1985||Sheinfeld is conducting private practice in the ER, and Stickley finds out Julie is tired of men, and Sheridan yearns for a baby.|