ER's success : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Just curious what people think is the secret behind ER's phenomenal success as a series. Given the facts: ER has remained on top since its beginning while other MD shows, Chicago Hope, City of Angels, have gone by the way side. Even Gideon's Crossing, which has a strong start, is still no where near as popular as ER. ER is one of the few shows which is very popular with both black and white, young and old, and foreign, audiences. So what does ER have that other shows don't?

-- why? (, February 20, 2001


In the beginning, it had better medical realism; a terrific cast; good writing; well-drawn characters; and a certain warm, life-affirming attitude. All of this makes for a very popular combination. These days, I think millions of people are just addicted to the show, watching it by habit, or watching it because of this or that actor, or hoping it will get better, taking whatever enjoyment they can get as it comes. It still IS a high quality show, especially in terms of production values. But as for why it has become popular and other shows never quite had the same popularity, it's probably due to a number of factors, not any one secret ingredient.

-- Ellen (, February 20, 2001.

The difference is that ER shows the viewers what it means versus other medical dramas that tell the viewers. For example, on Gideon's Crossing they talk a lot about different procedures, but they show us very few, however on ER they just do the procedures. I also think good character development, solid writing and great acting has also added to this magic formula.

-- Emma (, February 20, 2001.

I think a lot of the success of ER comes from the fact that we really know the characters. I don't watch a lot of the other medical dramas, but I know that I actually have feelings toward the characters on ER. I think a lot of that comes from earlier episodes where we actually used to get information about them, but I still feel that holds a lot for the success. Plus, ER really showed the "medical" part of medical drama. That's important.

-- Joanne (, February 20, 2001.

It certainly helped that George Clooney was on the show.

-- Zorbo (, February 21, 2001.

Two words: Shirtless Mark.

-- Cecelia (, February 21, 2001.

Stoat, you ARE evil! ;-)

-- S. Trelles (, February 21, 2001.

I agree with the first answer, I watch it because I am addicted now. If I started watching anytime after the fourth season I would of never became a regular watcher. I think the quality of the story lines is rapidly deteriorating (come on, a brain tumor!)

-- Amie (, February 21, 2001.

I think it is balance. They have a balance between medical procedures and getting to know the characters. I think it is also the action of being in the ER. I know from watching City of Angels they have don't have nearly as many heart pumping, whats going to happen cases. You also don't know the characters very well. There is no difference in one from the other. Lately, the balance on ER has been shifting lately to a lot more character devolpment, which I can't say is bad, but the medicine, and getting to know the patients is also extremely important.


-- sarah (, February 21, 2001.

"Stoat, you ARE evil! ;-)"

Hey, coulda been a pact with the Man Downstairs, y'know. "Okay, the deal is, we'll give you eight good, solid years. There's just one catch...."

-- Cecelia (, February 21, 2001.

Hey Cecelia, dont underestimate the power of a scrawny chest...;) Ok, I'm not allowed to tell you the source Cecelia, but the deal includes "And in the late years, a good looking android shall appear and no matter how bad she is, you keep her"

-- jules (, February 26, 2001.

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