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The Practice (TV Series 1997–2004) Poster

(1997–2004)

Trivia

The first season featured episodes that were shot in conjunction with David E. Kelley's other hit lawyer show Ally McBeal (1997). The show portrayed each practice as opposing counsel on the same case. Both shows reflected the point of view of the court from different sides.
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For the sixth season's finale, David E. Kelley filmed two different endings. One in which Lindsay Dole (Kelli Williams) was found not guilty, and one in which she was found guilty. Even the cast didn't know which ending it would be, until it was aired.
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Won the Emmy Award for either "Guest Actor in a Drama Series" or "Guest Actress in a Drama Series" every year in which it aired (John Larroquette (1998), Edward Herrmann (1999), James Whitmore and Beah Richards (2000), Michael Emerson (2001), Charles S. Dutton (2002), Alfre Woodard (2003), William Shatner and Sharon Stone (2004).
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David E. Kelley wrote the part of Helen Gamble for Lara Flynn Boyle, after she auditioned for the title role in Ally McBeal (1997).
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Sharon Stone's guest three-episode arc in the beginning of the eighth season boosted the ratings for the show, after which, she considered returning to the show full-time.
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Five of the six actors and actresses that play the defense attorneys, have all had non-Practice related guest appearances on Law & Order (1990). Dylan McDermott is the only one who has not.
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The cast filmed the season seven finale thinking it would be the series finale, because ratings had taken a dive during season seven after its new time slot. However, at the last minute, ABC renewed the show.
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Despite being on different networks, there were several crossover episodes with The Practice and David E. Kelley's other two shows, Ally McBeal (1997) and Boston Public (2000).
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For the third season, Lara Flynn Boyle, Camryn Manheim, and Holland Taylor received Emmy nominations as Supporting Actresses. Flynn Boyle and Manheim did the whole season, but one episode, always credited as regular cast members. Taylor, who eventually won, did six episodes as a Special Guest Star.
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Lara Flynn Boyle had this to say after getting fired from the Practice (along with most of the cast) in Season 7: "We gave our heart and soul to The Practice and we were dispensed of for whatever reason there is. We didn't make any decision. We had a decision that was translated to us. ... I always think honesty and being upfront with people is the best way to be correct. In this situation, that did not happen."
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Though the show is famous for featuring strong female characters, Rebecca, Helen, Eleanor, Lucy, etc.; the Lindsay character morphed into a damsel-in-distress during the last couple seasons, being constantly targeted and victimized by serial killers the firm was defending; from George Vogelman, to William Hinks, to Omalley the Cannibal.
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Stand up comic and TV personality Chelsea Handler plays a dramatic role in one episode of The Practice. She plays a woman who is raped by one of two twins.
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Following the last minute renewal of the series for an eighth season, Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, LisaGay Hamilton, Chyler Leigh, and Marla Sokoloff were fired to compensate for the budget cuts ABC had made for the new season.
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The old courthouse at Pemberton Square, seen in most of the exterior shots of the cases the firm tries, is the courthouse for the Boston Municipal Court, and would not be the actual courthouse used for the most part in the cases seen in the series. Federal cases are now tried at the modern facility at Fan Pier in South Boston, and superior court cases at the McCormack courthouse in the financial district.
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The first season had thirteen episodes, but the network only aired six, and merged the remaining seven with those on season two, which is why the second season is so long. This mistake was corrected on the DVD box of the first season, and when the show aired in other countries, like Spain.
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Sitcom stars Betty White, Tony Danza, Howard Hessman, Ed Asner, Jon Larroquette, David Odgen Stiers and Henry Winkler all played dramatic roles on The Practice.
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David E Kelley had this to say after firing most of the cast due to network budget cuts in season 7 : "It hurts, professionally and personally. This is perhaps the finest group of actors and people one could ever have worked with."
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It's interesting that the first time Eleanor Frutt rejects George Vogelman (who turns out to be a serial killer in later seasons) he sues her (as opposed to trying to kill her). It's also interesting that over the years and seasons that the character appears on the show they have numerous meetings together alone when he does not attack her. Odd behavior for a supposedly compulsive serial killer.
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After the big cast layoff in season 7, when most of the cast was fired, (Dylan McDermott, Kelly Williams, Marla Sokoloff, and Lisa Gay Hamilton), the only two characters/actors of that deposed group to come back were Marla Sokoloff, who's Lucy character would then re-emerge several times in Seasons 7 and 8; and Dylan Mcdermott, who's Bobby Donnell character showed up for the finale episode where he was featured again; after sitting out for two seasons.
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There were several Practice/Ally McBeal crossover episodes; including "Axe Murderer" on the Practice. David E Kelley hoped the ratings magic of Ally would spillover onto his other struggling show, the Practice. The ploy worked; Practice shot up in the ratings after this episode and soon became a big hit for ABC; outlasting it's sister show Ally on Fox even.
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David E Kelley had the option to continue The Practice at the end of the 2004 Season, or to start a spinoff show centering around the Alan Shore character in a new law firm. Since Alan/James Spader dominated The Practice for the last two seasons anyway; he opted to focus on the Alan Shore character in a new environment; hence Boston Legal was born. David E Kelley's purpose and modus operandi with Boston Legal, according to his own words, was to "create a show with the high stakes of The Practice but without the severity"; i.e. lighter in tone, more like Ally Mcbeal.
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As numerous critics have noted and complained about this show; nearly every other character seems to be a serial killer on this show.
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The Practice is one of the most critically acclaimed shows ever, winning more Emmy's than any other legal drama (with the exception of Law and Order.) Conversely it's sister shows Boston Legal and Ally McBeal have only won a few Emmy's.
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During a couple crossover episodes on Ally McBeal and The Practice Bobby Donnell and Ally McBeal were romantically linked.
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It's amazing that Linsday does not quit criminal law after being attacked by three different serial killers during the course of the show.
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This show had multiple plot lines where one of serial killers on the show stalks one of the partners in the firm; and then one of the characters over-reacts to this and then has to deal with the repercussions. In a story arc starting with "Mr Hinks Goes to Town" a serial killer named William Hinks stalks Linsday; and Bobby winds up using an underworld figure/hitman he has defended to scare him. This results in the hitman killing Hinks; and Bobby getting in trouble for conspiracy to commit a homicide. A similar story arc occurs with "Eat and Run" where the serial killer Lawrence Omalley stalks and threatens Lindsay, and then she gets in trouble for shooting him when he violates his restraining order. Similarly in "Choir Boys" Helen is stalked and threatened by a serial killer and rapist she is prosecuting; only to have Lindsay tip off another serial killer the firm is defending about the situation, who then kills the first serial killer.
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The actor Joseph Campanella plays a judge named "Joseph Camp" on this show (an obvious in-joke).
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Lara Flynn Boyle was dating Jack Nicholson while she starred on The Practice.
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David E Kelley wrote this concurrently as he was writing Ally Mcbeal, and he won emmies for both shows in the same year; one for best comedy and one for best drama. This has never been done before or since.
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Why does Lindsay keep representing serial killers even after one (George Vogelman) stabs her.
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Being presented on Sunday nights at 9pm The Practice was in direct competition with HBO's The Sopranos; heavy competition indeed. Many critics feel that is what led to the demise of this show.
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Dylan Baker stars in the episode "The Candidate" along with co-star Lara Flynn Boyle. The two co-starred in Todd Solanz' "Happiness" just a couple years earlier.
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Richard Masur, Renee Ajerbujois, Lawrence Pressman and David Ogden Stiers were all on episodes of The Practice and MASH.
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There were two villainous Allans on this show. Allan Lowe, the District Attorney, played by Ron Livingston, and Allan Shore, the attorney at Donnell Dole and Fruit, played by James Spader.
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John Larroquette and James Spader played similarly sinister taunting attorney type roles on this show. Although Allan was more of an anti-hero and Joey was an outright villain.
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Adding to the long list of actors who appeared on both The Practice and LA Law, which are both David E Kelley penned legal dramas, is Dennis Arndt, who played an attorney on both shows.
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In the "Mr Shore Goes To Town" episode Mary Tyler Moore cast members Ed Asner and Betty White are reunited.
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Ron Livingston played Allen Lowe who was added to the credits in Season 7 and became one of the regulars that season. He was being groomed to be one of the villains or antagonists in the series after Jason Kravits' Richard Bay character was killed off. Allen Lowe only lasted a few episodes though and was eventually written off the show. He was replaced by Bill Smitrovitch who played Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Walsh; Shore's supervisor. Smitrovitch was never part of the "regular cast" and was never in the opening credit like Livingston was; put he clicked with audiences more and became a bigger and more important character that Livingston was; eventually becoming the main antagonist on the series. He was eventually replaced by James Spader who became the main antagonist in the series.
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Silent Partners duplicates the plot of Boston Confidential almost completely. In Silent Partners, one of Lindsay's clients, Mr Deeks, a serial killer, is let off because the search and seizure of his car by law enforcement resulted in them finding his murder victim; is illegal and violates his 4th amendment rights. The same exact thing happens in Boston Confidential, where Bobby and Lindsay's client is again released because the murder victim he hid away in his car was found by the police during an illegal search and seizure procedure.
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Rhona Mitra and Jessica Capshaw were born on the same day (August 9, 1976).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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