Hires for New Season

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Hey gang! Just read this from Entertainment Weekly online today (July 28):

by Josh Wolk

CASTING Who needs George Clooney? ''ER'' is trying to revitalize its cast next season by adding some recognizable names. ''NewsRadio'''s Maura Tierney is close to signing up for a permanent role, according to Variety, and five-episode arcs are planned for Alan Alda and Rebecca DeMornay, who will romance Noah Wyle. Talk about risky business....

-- Larry Brown (lwbrown@city.norfolk.va.us), July 28, 1999


Sigh. Another blonde for Carter. Couldn't they at least have TRIED to find a brunette for him?

-- Mary Lyman (mslyman@erols.com), July 29, 1999.


Several planned cast additions involve minority actors: Michael Michele and Ming-Na Wen on ``ER.''

Ms. Michele (``Homicide: Life on the Street'') will play a second-year resident, while Ms. Wen is reprising her role from the medical drama's first season as Dr. Deb Chen. Joining them will be Maura Tierney (``NewsRadio'') and Goran Visnjic.

Alan Alda (``M-A-S-H'') and Rebecca DeMornay (``Risky Business'') will guest star in several ``ER'' episodes, while recurring character Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) is now a regular. The series returns Thursday, Sept. 30.

-- Larry Brown (lwbrown@city.norfolk.va.us), July 30, 1999.

Without knowing much about the new actors coming on, all I can say is did they have to add so many? It seems like there is a lot that can be done with the existing 8, or 9 if you count Romano, not to mention the supporting cast, and although 2 are leaving at the end of the season, I am surprised that TPTB went out already and added more people. I hope the writers handle it well, but even so, it worries me that the show is getting too fragmented and that with so many characters, no character will be able to be developed well. Sigh.

-- Laura (laurab56@hotmail.com), July 30, 1999.

With regards to all the new characters... It sounds like many of the characters are only guests or are getting minor roles. Nonetheless, ER already does have too many characters compared to the early seasons, and I believe that it has contributed to the shows decline. That is not to say that many characters cannot be managed effectively (for an example of a large ensemble cast that is well managed, watch Oz on HBO), but it seems like the writers of ER have not done a good job managing the interactions between characters; they seem repetitious and cliquish. Perhaps they will work on that this year.


-- Joshua Galanter (jgalanter@hotmail.com), July 30, 1999.

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