More 'ER' drama; 'Police' deployed


It will be a longer goodbye for NBC's veteran medical drama "ER," whose 15th and final season has been extended by three episodes.

As part of NBC's deal with producer Warner Bros. TV and "ER" executive producer John Wells, the network also has ordered six episodes of Wells' new cop drama "Police."

NBC and Warner Bros. have been in intense negotiations the past few weeks for a "Police" series pickup. The network had been asking for a 12-episode midseason order, but WBTV had been reluctant to commit to such a large order in light of NBC's recent decision to launch a Jay Leno-fronted talk show in the 10 p.m. hour in the fall, which would limit its needs for drama series.

NBC, WBTV and Wells also had been talking about adding three hours to the 19-episode final season of "ER," which performed well in the fall, regularly winning its 10 p.m. Thursday time period.

It is not clear how the extended season of "ER" will affect the new drama "Kings," slated to air in the slot following the "ER" series finale March 12. (partialdiff)