03/31/2005 AT 8:00 AM ET
SET: After the departures over the years of George Clooney, Anthony Edwards and Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle was the only original ER star left standing – but after an 11-year run, Wyle will say goodbye on the May 19 season finale of NBC’s hit hospital series. Still, the outgoing Wyle will return as Dr. John Carter for four episodes in each of the next two seasons, USA Today reports. “It’s very sad for me. Noah and I have a lot of history together,” executive producer John Wells tells the paper. “He’s a wonderful actor and a wonderful man, and it’s been great to watch him grow up and get married and have a family.” In the fall of 2003, Wyle, 33, took a six-episode break to spend time with his wife, Tracy, and baby, Owen.
ANTICIPATED: Expect Harry Potter to be everywhere this summer. Scholastic, Inc., the American publisher of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series, has announced a record first printing of 10.8 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the largest such printing for a hardcover release in this country. (The previous record holder was 2003’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with 8.5 million.) Half-Blood Prince, which will be officially released on July 16, has topped the best-seller lists of Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com ever since its publication date was announced in December. Worldwide sales have topped 250 million for the entire series, which has been translated into 62 languages.
FRONTED: Country star Tim McGraw is leading the “Neighbors Give Life” blood drive to begin Thursday and run through Sept. 5. Speaking to the Associated Press, McGraw, 37, said he will spread the word that people can give blood up to six times a year, not just once. “It’s just a simple thing, and you help more than you realize,” he says. Red Cross officials warn that there is less than half of the seven- to 10-day blood supply needed in the event of a national disaster. Only 5 percent of Americans who are eligible to give blood now donate, organization officials said.
AWARDED: A Los Angeles judge has ordered Marion "Suge" Knight to pay $107 million to Lydia Harris, who claims she helped the rap mogul start Death Row Records, ruling Knight and his attorneys failed to answer questions and provide information in the case, AP reports. Harris is married to Michael “Harry O” Harris, an imprisoned drug dealer who has claimed he put up $1.5 million from behind bars in 1991 to help start Death Row Records. Knight, 39, has repeatedly denied that contention. The judgment includes $60 million in punitive damages, $45 million in economic damages and $2 million in non-economic damages.
CONCLUDED: The weekly PBS series Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered will end its run after one year in June, the network has announced. “Tucker’s series on PBS is smart and stimulating,” said Jacoba Atlas, senior vice president of PBS programming. “We will miss having him on our air.” The bow-tied conservative commentator’s upcoming nightly series on MSNBC and his relocation to New York made it impossible to continue, officials said.
AUTHORED: Ed McMahon, 82, who occupied the chair next to Johnny Carson’s desk on the Tonight show, is writing a memoir, to be called Here’s Johnny! and published in October. “The stories he shares, with Johnny’s blessing given before his death, paint a picture of the enigmatic Carson, so cool before the camera, yet genuinely shy and self-effacing,” according to a statement from publisher, Rutledge Hill Press. Carson died in January at age 79.