(This article took a look at each character separately. I've just put up the introduction and Erik's bit.)
Fresh Blood: The New Faces of ER
By Catherine Dawson
January 29, 2000
George who? On the sixth-season set of ER, that's not exactly what is being said by cast and producers, but that's definitely the message being delivered. With five new cast members, everyone is eager to reassure viewers that the wound caused by Geroge Clooney's exit is stitched closed and healing nicely.
"George leaving last year was the catalyst for what was going to be an inevitable change," says castmate Noah Wyle. "There were cast changes in the past, but nothing as radical as what we've gone through the end of last season and beginning of this season. It's been very exciting."
Executive producer Lydia Woodward is a little more succinct. When asked if Clooney left a gap in the cast, she has a one-word answer: "No." Co-executive producer Neal Baer agrees, explaining that, "It's really about trying to do new characters and tell new stories, not replace any old characters." In fact, Anthony Edwards (who plays Dr. Greene) is the only one to speak openly about Clooney. "I love George, but he wasn't around much the last couple of years. He made five movies while we were doing the show! He's a great, funny human being, so, sure, he's missed."
Missed or not, the series now has 13 regulars. (The newest addition, NewsRadio's Maura Tierney, starts her regular rotation this week.) Sometimes, it's too crowded in the ER, making it hard to follow new storylines, while remembering what's going on with favorite characters. Despite the critics, producers say viewers are behind them as ER's ratings are up from last year.
Here's a look at each of ER's new faces:
[The article starts off with Goran Visnjic]
...Visnjic is tired of questions comparing him to Clooney, but it does seem Clooney's Doug Ross was split in two. Kovac is the caring and sensitive Ross, while Dr. Dave Malucci represents his wild side.
Erik Palladino, Dr. Dave Malucci
"When I got here," says Palladino, "I was incredibly excited - excited beyond any point of excitement I've ever had before in my life." That's not surprising. The last show Palladino starred in was the short-lived UPN series DiResta. Born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y., he studied theatre in college but joined a rock band after graduating. In 1996, the then long-haired Palladino landed a vee-jay gig at MTV and got back into acting by appearing on a Comedy Central series.
Palladino's Dr. Dave, as he liked be called is a guy's guy, short on sensitivity, who earned his medical degree in Grenada. Palladino describes him this way: "When he decided to become a doctor it wasn't for any kind of status. My character is really addicted to the adrenaline. He's really into getting into the guts, for getting in there and possibly saving someone. That's what his turn on is and that's what makes him tick."
[It continues with Michael Michele, Ming-Na and Maura Tierney]
More pictures here
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