‘Chicago’: the other musical

NEW YORK — Several seasons ago, they squared off in a bitter battle as competing operating-room dramas. Now, NBC’s “ER” and CBS’ “Chicago Hope” are in a new game of one-upsmanship: seeing which can come up with the most clever season-opener.

“ER” exec producer John Wells is already trying to do that show’s first episode live. Now, the producers of “Chicago Hope” have quietly sealed plans to do their first episode — as a full-fledged musical! Believe it or not, series stars like Mark Harmon, Christine Lahti, Peter Berg, and Hector Elizondo are all getting ready to sing.

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