As expected, NBC will make room for an “ER” victory lap next year, picking the show up for a 15th and final season.
Peacock and Warner Bros. TV were mum on how much NBC is paying for the season’s 19 episodes – but it’s believed that Warner Bros. agreed to a reduced license fee for the show’s last go-round.
The deal required some adjusting in terms of making the show’s budget, insiders said, but the negotiation was characterized as smooth.
That’s quite a change from ten years ago, when “ER” was the top-rated series on TV and Warner Bros. was able to extract a whopping $13 million per episode license fee. These days, “ER’s” ratings are a fraction of those glory years – and so is its license fee.
But the show still provides a solid (at least for 2008) perf for the net, averaging a 3.8 rating/10 share among adults 18-49, and 9.5 million viewers. It’s still even the No. 3 show on NBC among women 18-49.
“’ER’ deserved an entire year to play out its operatic theme,” NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chairman Ben Silverman said.
“ER” will air in its usual Thursday 10 p.m. timeslot for 19 weeks – making it one of the few long-running TV shows to remain in the same timeslot throughout its run. After “ER” retires at the end of February sweeps, “The Celebrity Apprentice” will take over the timeslot.
As for the Peacock’s other Thursday night medical skein, NBC officially released “Scrubs,” which will end its run on NBC at the end of this season.
That opens the door for ABC, long rumored to be the show’s new home. It’s easily become one of the worst-kept secrets in TV: The show is back in production, thesps are shooting episodes – and constantly telling every reporter who asks that, yes, “Scrubs” is moving to ABC.
Yet ABC Studios still won’t comment on the pending “Scrubs” shuffle. And at NBC, Silverman remained coy.
“I don’t know where ‘Scrubs’ is going,” he said. “It is finishing its run on NBC, however.”