NBC Books 'Police,' Extends 'ER'
John Wells cop series gets order after heated negotiations
The deal with Wells and Warner Bros. TV, which produces both "ER" and the new show, the generically titled "Police," calls for three more episodes of "ER" to be added to its farewell season, bringing its total to 22. NBC is also on the verge of ordering six episodes of "Police," an ensemble drama about LAPD officers, the showbiz trade papers report.
The deal rescues "Police" from what appeared to be a pretty dire situation a few weeks ago. Reports said that NBC wanted to order 12 episodes of the show, but Warner Bros. wasn't thrilled about putting up that much money right off the bat, particularly given NBC's shrinking prime-time schedule when Jay Leno takes over 10 p.m. next season.
As part of the agreement, "ER" -- which has been drawing decent demographic numbers in its final season -- will tack on three more episodes. The series finale had been scheduled for March 12, but the extra episodes will likely push the finale into early April. How that will affect another new drama, "Kings" -- which was scheduled to take over the 10 p.m. Thursday slot after "ER" ends -- isn't clear yet. There's also no word yet on where "Police" might fit on the schedule.
"Police" stars Ben McKenzie ("The O.C."), Regina King (" 24," "Ray"), Tom Everett Scott ("Saved," "That Thing You Do!") and Kevin Alejandro ( "Shark"). Wells, "ER" veteran Christopher Chulack and writer Ann Biderman ("Smilla's Sense of Snow") are executive producing.