Slate wants to know why you still watch ER.

Arts, entertainment, and more.
March 31 2009 11:13 AM

Paging ER Fans, Stat

Slate wants to know why you still watch.

1998 George Clooney in "ER"
George Clooney in ER

Slate owes you an apology. Over the last three months, we in the magazine's culture department have been trying to prepare the perfect eulogy for ER, the medical drama whose finale airs Thursday. We have approached both staff writers and a series of reliable correspondents, inviting them to weigh in on the final episode and the legacy of the drama's 15-year run. No one wanted the assignment. It's tough to find a surprising angle on this story. And it's even tougher, it turns out, to find anyone who has watched the show since George Clooney was just that promising young actor from The Facts of Life.

But if Slate contributors aren't watching, somebody is. Even in this its final season, ER has reliably delivered 9 million viewers for NBC on Thursday nights. By contrast, Friday Night Lights, the network's high-school football drama, draws a mere 4.5 million (and yet was just renewed for two seasons). Slate has lavished attention on the critical darling Friday Night Lights while all but ignoring ER. A search of the Slate archive yields more uses of the interjection er than mentions of the medical drama.

Advertisement

We'd like to make it up to you, ER fans. We propose to turn our ER finale coverage over to you. Why do you still watch this show? What is it that has kept you coming back to County General season after season? Was it really still good after Clooney, Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle left? What does ER do that no other series does? How has it changed television? And is Abraham Benrubireally still on the show? Send your thoughts to slateculture@gmail.com by noon Wednesday, and we'll collect the best responses and publish them. Please include your name and where you're writing from (city and state) in your messages.

Sincerely,
Slate's Culture Dept.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in The New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 7:13 PM Deadly Advice When it comes to Ebola, ignore American public opinion: It’s ignorant and misinformed about the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 6:32 PM Taylor Swift’s Pro-Gay “Welcome to New York” Takes Her Further Than Ever From Nashville 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.