[05/12/03 - 12:00 AM] NBC's 'Er' to Stay Open Through 2006 By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)
CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) - NBC will keep its "ER" open through May 2006. The Peacock has struck a new licensing deal with distributor Warner Bros. television to renew the series through its 12th season. Previously, NBC had picked up the drama through its tenth season back in April 2000.
Financial details of the new pact were not revealed however it is believed to be worth slightly less than its current $8 million per episode license fee. Despite its age and the increased competition brought on by CBS' "Without a Trace," "ER" remains one of television most watched dramas averaging nearly 20 million viewers each week.
With its extension on "ER," NBC has locked up three of its marquee dramas for the next several seasons: both "The West Wing" and "Law & Order" have been sewn up through May 2005.