ER celebrates its 300th episode tonight! My L.A. scooptress, Carole Glines, recently talked to the stars and creator about the NBC medical drama’s big milestone.

While the writers’ strike has stalled all of scripted television, the airing of the 300th show, shot in October, will be a welcome gift to its devoted fans.

Linda Cardellini, who joined the show in 2003, is delighted to “be part of a little bit of television history.”

John Stamos — who’s OK!‘s exclusive at-home this week — said the reason for ER’s success is “its humanity–there’s always something to relate to on the show.”

Creator John Wells elaborated, “we are talking about fears, love, and the difficulty of trying to maintain a life in which most of the time you have is really in your workplace. That, I think, resonates with the audience.”

The stars say their intense characters have profoundly affected their lives. Cardellini recalled, “I remember when I first got the role, somebody got in a car accident and I pulled off the side of the road and I found myself thinking, what would Nurse Sam Taggart do? And the only thing I could do was give her my cell phone—and it helped!”

Maura Tierney, who has been on the show since 1999, says her character Abby Lockhart “has been put the wringer this season because she’s not really able to handle being a single mother. Sometimes it’s tiring to have to play someone who’s so sad and so upset all the time, but I don’t take that home with me.”

Mekhi Pfeiffer
said the cast couldn’t be closer. “We go to bars after work,” he laughed. “We have a lot of fun here. It’s hard to match this camaraderie. We want to spend more time with each other than the twelve hours we’ve already spent with each other. ”

His co-sar Parminder Nagra added, “we did an RV trip together recently to Vegas.”

Although ER has made it to 300 episodes, rumors have flown—even before the writers’ strike–that the show that made George Clooney a star might be on life support. “I hope and pray that it’s not the last year,” Stamos said. “People have invested 14 years of their lives into the show and deserve at least half a season of closing things up and we’re not at that point right now.”

Clearly, the network execs need a second opinion on calling it quits for this show!

ER, the 300th episode, airs Thursday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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