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John Stamos, ER

NBC Photo: Michael Yarish

ER may be in defib, but it won't be flatlining quite so soon.

NBC has ordered up another three episodes to cap off the stalwart medical drama's final season, meaning the network has three more weeks of guaranteed ratings glory and, perhaps, three more chances to secure a guest appearance by a certain former County General doc turned Oscar winner.

Network and show sources gave E! News a flurry of "no comments" when asked whether ER's 15th season may have also been extended with an eye on getting George Clooney to reprise his role as Dr. Doug Ross just one more time. But we sure would want that casting coup if we were a viewer-starved network...

What is known, however, is that NBC OK'd ER's now-22-episode last lap during negotiations with executive producer John Wells, who has also received a six-episode pickup for his new cop drama, Police.

Meanwhile, it's currently unclear what NBC is planning to do with its incoming drama Kings, which had been slated to premiere in ER's old Thursday slot a week after its previously scheduled March 12 finale.