'ER' preps new season


A 15th season of "ER" is within reach, sources said. The NBC medical drama has been casting two recurring characters, at least one of which is eyed to continue in the fall.

"The Sopranos" alumna Aida Turturro has been tapped for one of the roles, a car accident victim; Australian David Lyons is in talks for the other part, a handsome new  doctor who lacks conscience, sources said. In another sign that "ER" is coming back, talent agents have been told that the show plans to go directly into shooting four episodes for next season after wrapping its six-episode post-strike order.

NBC and series producer Warner Bros. TV, which have been negotiating an "ER" renewal for the past few months, declined comment.