CHICAGO, March 29 (UPI) -- NBC's fading TV series, "ER," helped boost the Chicago-area economy by nearly $33.5 million during its 15 seasons on the air, film offices say.
The Illinois and Chicago Film Offices said since debuting on Sept. 19, 1994, the medical drama set in Chicago's fictional County General Hospital has become a local institution thanks to its economic impact, the Chicago Tribune said Sunday.
The cast and crew of "ER" -- set to offer its series finale Thursday -- traditionally visited Chicago once a season to capture the Midwestern city's changing seasons.
Actor Noah Wyle, who played Dr. John Carter on the drama, said filming in Chicago was a nice break from most series' filming locales in California cities like Burbank.
"It broke up the monotony of shooting on a soundstage in Burbank, but it also lent an air of authenticity to the show," Wyle told the Tribune. "Some of my fondest memories over the last 15 years are from my trips to Chicago."
The Tribune said the "ER" cast visited Chicago 54 times and producers would employ local filming crews each time.