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BRIEFS Checking into 'ER'

Forest Whitaker and Kenneth Johnson, whose characters' fates on "The Shield" were intertwined last season, will each make the move to network TV this fall.

Whitaker, along with "Love, Inc." star Busy Philipps, will have a recurring part on NBC's long-running hospital drama "ER" in the coming season. Johnson, meanwhile, will appear in multiple episodes of "Cold Case," continuing a part he played in last season's finale.

Whitaker will appear in five episodes of "ER," starting in October, as a man who comes to County General with an apparently benign cough, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His condition goes south quickly, however, when he suffers a paralyzing stroke. Philipps will play an intern whose on-the-job training isn't going so well.

Johnson, whose "Shield" character, Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky, was murdered in last season's finale, will continue a role he originated in May's third-season finale. He'll be playing a love interest for the show's lead character, Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris).

He's for real

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Q: Being German-born, I find the commercials with "Dr. Z" for DaimlerChrysler funny. Is this guy for real?

A: That is really Dieter Zetsche, a top DaimlerChrysler executive. But you're not alone in being skeptical. The Internet has been full of discussion about whether Zetsche is an actor.

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