'ER' doctor's 'aloha' episode begins filming
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor
Anthony Edwards of NBC's "ER," which this week became the top-rated Thursday night television show in the country, has been enjoying a few days of vacation in Honolulu.
On Monday, "ER" begins a 10-day shoot on O'ahu.
Edwards, who plays Dr. Mark Greene in "ER," was spotted a few mornings ago having breakfast with his family at Bogart's Cafe in Kapahulu. When he reports to work, he will be taping an hour-long segment written by the show's creator, John Wells.
In the Hawai'i episode, Dr. Greene, who is fighting a brain tumor, makes his final appearance. It will air May 9, during May sweeps, as the next-to-last episode of the show's eighth season.
The "ER" finale, being filmed simultaneously in Los Angeles though set in Chicago, will be aired a week later, said an NBC source. It is unusual for a program to have two units at work at the same time, but the show's huge popularity must justify the costs.
Departing doctors on "ER" tend to draw TV viewers, so Edwards' character plays a major role in two "aloha" shows. When Dr. Greene made his last appearance at County General this week, "ER" emerged as the No. 1 Thursday show, with 28.5 million viewers, topping "Friends" (22.7 million).
The Hawai'i segment, marking the character's final exit, is titled "On the Beach." The episode reveals that Dr. Greene's father and grandfather both were in the Navy, with the father stationed in Hawai'i. Filming locations are expected to include the USS Missouri Memorial and Ford Island, said a Navy source.
Dr. Greene and daughter Rachel (played by Hallee Hirsh) tour Pearl Harbor, and the doctor decides he wants to remain in Hawai'i till he dies.
Production offices for the "ER" shoot are headquartered at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Handlers for the show have been maintaining a low profile, revealing few details.
However, casting calls for surfing extras for scenes off Waikiki Beach, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, have had locals buzzing with anticipation for several weeks. Some North Shore filming also is expected, with footage to possibly include filming at Dillingham Field in Waialua and Hale'iwa.