Wyle to leave, return to 'ER'

April 01, 2005|by

Noah Wyle is still leaving "ER" at the end of the season. Just not for good.

Wyle will become the last original cast member to leave the show when he departs in the "ER" season finale, scheduled for May 19 (Sherry Stringfield took several seasons off before returning in 2001). But he's set to return as a guest star in several episodes over the next two seasons.

The hospital drama is set to film Wyle's departure in the coming weeks, crossing the Atlantic to Paris to do so, USA Today reports. His character, Dr. John Carter, will head to France to reunite with his love, Kem (Thandie Newton), and go to work for an organization similar to Doctors Without Borders.

Wyle told Zap2it last year that he had hoped for an exit along those lines for Carter: "We've talked about sort of the natural progression of events leading him back to Africa" - where he and Kovac (Goran Visnjic) worked for a time in earlier seasons - "where I think in a lot of ways, he truly came into his own. That seems to be, I think, the way to go with it."


NBC recently renewed "ER" through 2007-08, meaning the show will likely eclipse 300 episodes before it goes off the air. Although not the ratings powerhouse it once was, the show is still NBC's most-watched series, bringing in about 16.1 million viewers per week.

'24' to be broadcast three times next week

Fox says next week's episode of "24" is "riveting," "pivotal" and "gripping" - all in the first two sentences of its press release. It's so all those things, in fact, that the network will give viewers more than one chance to watch it.

Oh, and it's also airing opposite what will likely be a highly rated sporting event. That might have something to do with it too.

Monday's "24" will run against CBS' telecast of the NCAA men's basketball final in most of the country. The game may siphon some viewers from Fox, particularly men who make up a key part of "24's" audience, so the network has scheduled encore showings of the episode for 9 p.m. April 8 and April 10.

The encore strategy is similar to what Fox did with "24" in its first season. The network credited the multiple-play strategy with helping to keep the series alive when it struggled in early episodes.

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