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"Old Times"
Season 15, Episode 19
Tony Gates 1519.jpg
Air date March 12, 2009
US viewers 10.71 M
Written by John Wells
Directed by John Wells
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"Old Times" is the nineteenth episode of the fifteenth season of ER. It first aired on NBC on March 12, 2009. It was written and directed by John Wells.


As Sam and Neela wait in the Seattle to deliver organs to Chicago, Dr. Doug Ross and his wife, transplant coordinator Carol Hathaway , consult with a grieving grandmother whose grandson passed away and needs her consent to be an organ donor. Carter is waiting for a new kidney and gets a surprise visit and needed support from his old mentor, Dr. Peter Benton . Banfield bonds with a baby abandoned in the hospital.


It has George Clooney and Julianna Margulies returning as Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway, respectively as they try to help a greiving grandmother (played by Susan Sarandon) donate her grandson's organs in Seattle. Meanwhile, John Carter gets some unexpected support from Peter Benton, who is portrayed once again by Eriq La Salle, as they await for a kidney to show up.



  • Beginning with this episode, the music used at the opening of the "Previously on ER" segment changes from what was used from Season 13 onwards to a new piece, distinguishable by its three strong opening beats of percussion. This new opening would last through the penultimate episode of the series.
  • When Benton is talking to Carter about his surgeon, he mentions that Dr. Kurtag "trained at the Brigham." Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), in Boston, Massachussetts, is Harvard Medical School's second largest teaching affiliate. BWH represents the 1980 merger of three Harvard-affiliated Boston hospitals: the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital, and the Boston Hospital for Women. Interestingly, the first successful kidney transplant was performed in 1954 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
  • George Clooney , Julianna Margulies , and Eriq La Salle all reprise their roles of Dr. Doug Ross , Carol Hathaway , and Dr. Peter Benton , respectively. Clooney left in the Season 5 episode "The Storm (Part 2) " and returned for an uncredited cameo in the Season 6 episode "Such Sweet Sorrow ." That episode also marked Margulies's last appearance as a series regular. La Salle left in the Season 8 episode "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and made brief appearances later that season in "It's All in Your Head" and "On The Beach ." Like Anthony Edwards and Noah Wyle earlier this season, all three actors are listed in the opening credits as main stars rather than being billed as special guests or as making guest appearances.
  • Previous title: "In Times of Old"


  1. Cancel Bear, The (March 13, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: "Surprise" Clooney Return Provides Little Boost To E.R. ". TV by the Numbers. (May 24, 2015).