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 WBTV have been in intense negotiations during the past few weeks for a "Police" series pickup. The network had been asking for a 12-episode midseason order, while 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 the network's needs for drama series.
Meanwhile, NBC, WBTV and Wells also had been talking about adding three hours to the 19-episode final season of "ER," which has been regularly winning its 10 p.m. Thursday slot.
It is not clear how the extended season of "ER" will affect NBC's new drama "Kings," which was slated to air in the slot following the "ER" series finale March 12.
One possible scenario would have "Police" succeed "ER" in the slot as it was originally envisioned and see "Kings" move to another night.
Ordered to pilot in June, "Police" is an ensemble show starring Tom Everett Scott, Regina King, Benjamin McKenzie and Kevin Alejandro as a group of police officers in Los Angeles.