Love's Labor Lost (ER)

"Love's Labor Lost" is the nineteenth episode of the first season of the American medical drama ER. It first aired on March 9, 1995 on NBC in the United States. The episode was written by Lance Gentile and directed by Mimi Leder. "Love's Labor Lost" earned five Emmy Awards (Writing, Directing, Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing) and several other awards and nominations.

"Love's Labor Lost"
ER episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 19
Directed byMimi Leder
Written byLance Gentile
Production code456618
Original air dateMarch 9, 1995 (1995-03-09)
Guest appearance(s)


Dr. Mark Greene encounters the case of a pregnant woman suffering from complications that severely threaten her life as well as her unborn baby. With the obstetrics attending unavailable, he decides to try to deliver her baby in the ER, with tragic results. Elsewhere, a teenager is accidentally poisoned by insecticides and Dr. Peter Benton has to deal with the aftermath of his mother's fall.


In its original broadcast, "Love's Labor Lost" finished first in the ratings for the week of March 6–12, 1995, with a 24.2 Nielsen rating and 40 percent audience share. It was the highest rated show on NBC that week with episodes of Seinfeld and Friends second and third respectively.[1] In 1997, TV Guide ranked it as the third in its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time.[2] In 2009, it ranked the episode sixth.[3] The show's producers also consider it to be one of ER's best episodes, with John Wells saying he holds it up as "an example to everyone involved creatively of what the best of the show could be."[4]

The episode earned writer Lance Gentile a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards, in addition to a Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama at the 49th Writers Guild of America Awards.[5] The episode also earned Mimi Leder a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards as well as a nomination for Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series at the 48th Directors Guild of America Awards. Colleen Flynn earned a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in this episode, which was her only appearance in the TV series. The episode earned a host of other Emmys: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production for Randy Jon Morgan and Rick Tuber; Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Editing for a Series for Walter Newman (supervising sound editor), John Voss Bonds Jr. (sound effects editor), Rick Camera (sound effects editor), Steven M. Sax (sound effects editor), John F. Reynolds (dialogue editor), Catherine Flynn (dialogue editor), Thomas A. Harris (adr editor), Susan Mick (music editor), Casey J. Crabtree (foley artist), and James Bailey (foley artist); as well as Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series for Russell C. Fager (production sound mixer), Michael Jiron (sound effects mixer), Allen L. Stone (dialogue mixer) and Frank Jones (music mixer). The episode also won an American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television for Randy Jon Morgan and Rick Tuber.


  1. Grahnke, Lou (March 15, 1995). "New 'Hope' Scores Big In Premiere". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.  via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide. June 28 – July 4, 1997.
  3. "TV Guide's 100 Best Episodes of All Time". WordPress. Archived from the original on 2011-10-01.
  4. Joyce Eng (2015-03-08). "ER: An Oral History of the Powerful, Groundbreaking "Love's Labor Lost"". Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  5. "The Writers Guild Foundation Library Catalog". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
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