My Favorite Scene: ‘ER’ Producer Neal Baer on Fulfilling a Dream to Write for Sally Field | ETonline.com
July 29, 2016
In this regular series on ETonline, we ask shows’ creators and writers to talk about their most cherished moment and how it went from script to screen.
Neal Baer, who also worked on China Beach, was the showrunner for 11 seasons on Law & Order: SVU—but I most wanted to talk to him about his time writing and producing on ER. The scene we dove into, from “Rescue Me,” was from a gut-puncher of a Thanksgiving episode about Abby (Maura Tierney) and her bipolar mother, Maggie (played by Sally Field).
Extra backstory: Neal was also the subject of the first magazine Q&A I ever did about a TV show—back in 2000ish, I interviewed him for POZ about ER’s major storyline featuring Gloria Reuben as a nurse who is living with HIV. “Meet the man who gave Jeanie Boulet AIDS,” I said then, because it was Baer, one of the only MDs in the writer’s room, who’d argued for the important, and then still controversial, storyline of a health care worker who is HIV positive.