After three years as TV's top-rated show, what's the next level for ER? How about a live season opener? That's just what producers for the NBC show are considering--that is, if they can work out the logistics.

According to today's Daily Variety, cast members are all in favor of the feat. Executive producer John Wells and others are putting their heads together now, trying to figure out how they can stage the hyper-frenetic show in real time.

"They would have to film the second and third episodes first, and the second show would have to be completed before they filmed the live season premiere, which is scheduled for September 25," says Pam Morrison, an NBC publicist.

Sitcoms like Fox's now-defunct Roc, which filmed live for one season, generally require only one stage and three cameras. Dramas, however, require a lot more work. ER staffers are now talking about using three stages and transporting cast members from scene to scene using golf carts, Variety reports. The big problem is duplicating the chaotic atmosphere of the ER operating rooms.

"At this point, it's just an idea," says one ER spokesperson. "The way it came up was at the end of last season, everyone was kind of sitting around asking, 'What can we do?' The idea [was suggested] and everyone said, 'Hey, that's a great idea.' It hasn't really gone past that." Producers will decide within the next six weeks whether ER live is a go or not.

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