John Wells’ new cop show for NBC looks like it will make it to the air after all. And to top it off, ER is getting a little bit more time to say goodbye.
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.