Saturday, March 14, 2009

Clooney's quiet "ER" return boosts show ratings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – George Clooney quietly returned to "ER" in a long-awaited appearance that gave the TV hospital drama its best viewership ratings in two years as the show nears its final emergency.

Clooney, 47, donned his Dr. Doug Ross scrubs one more time along with his TV wife Julianna Marguiles (nurse Carol Hathaway) in an episode broadcast on Thursday that also featured old-timers Noah Wyle (Dr. John Carter) and Eriq La Salle (Dr. Peter Benton).

Although barely promoted by NBC, the episode saw a 23 percent increase in audiences over last week's show, whose 15th and final season ends next month.

NBC, which is currently lagging in bottom place among the four major U.S. networks, said the 10.7 million Americans who tuned in gave "ER" its best ratings since Feb 2007.

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