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The Practice was a long-running (March 4, 1997 - May 16, 2004, eight seasons) ABC legal drama TV series created by David E. Kelley about a Boston, Massachusetts law firm. It also led to the spin-off legal drama, Boston Legal, which began in fall 2004.
The Practice originally focused on the law firm Donnell, Young, Dole and Frutt, featuring the firm's involvement in a number of high-profile criminal and civil cases that often mirrored events occurring in real life. There were a number of crossovers with other David E. Kelley shows, including Boston Public, Ally McBeal and the short-lived medical drama Gideon's Crossing, but The Practice is overall one of David E. Kelley's most serious shows.
The main theme of the series as a whole is the uneasy balance between moral ethics and legal ethics. The problem in several episodes involved a dilemma between the two. One classic example is the episode in which Jimmy Berluti learned that a young boy had an aneurysm in his brain that could pop at any moment. But he was in the employ of the insurance company, and the client did not want to disclose the aneurysm. Berluti decided to let the parents know about the aneurysm. The boy was operated on before the aneurysm could cause any damage, but Berluti was nearly disbarred.
Very often the lawyers needed to remind themselves and others that they defended murderers and rapists for the common good of all people.
Another important theme of the series was lawyers being fooled by their clients. Joey Heric (played by guest star John Larroquette) literally got away with murder in every episode in which he hired Donnell, Young, Dole & Frutt. Another example is the psychotic William Hinks, who convinced his therapist and later Lindsay Dole that he was a serial murder wannabe rather than the real thing.
By the end of the seventh season, faced with sagging ratings, ABC conditioned the show's renewal on a drastic budget reduction. As a result, several cast members were fired. The addition of James Spader and Rhona Mitra to the cast for the eighth season helped to revive the ratings somewhat; however, on March 11, 2004, ABC announced that it would not renew the series for a ninth season, but that Kelley would instead create the new spin-off series starring Spader, Mitra and William Shatner, who began appearing as Denny Crane during the final months.
The remaining members of the law firm go their separate ways. Eugene becomes a judge. Ellenor focuses more on her family. Jimmy and Jamie become neighborhood lawyers. The final scene shows Bobby Donnell behind a desk thinking about his law firm and the impact it has made.
Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
|> Airing History & Information|
|Last Airing||May 16, 2004|
|Premiere||March 4, 1997|
|Format/Time||Color / 60 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
Alan Lowe ((2001-2002))
James Spader.... Alan Shore ((2003-2004))
Dylan McDermott.... Bobby Donnell (1997-2003, 2004)
Chyler Leigh.... Claire Wyatt ((2003))
Camryn Manheim.... Ellenor Frutt
Steve Harris.... Eugene Young
Lara Boyle.... Helen Gamble ((1997-2003))
Jessica Capshaw.... Jamie Stringer ((2002-2004))
Michael Badalucco.... Jimmy Berluti
Kelli Williams.... Lindsay Dole ((1997-2003))
Lisa Gay Hamilton.... Rebecca Washington ((1997-2003))
Jason Kravits.... Richard Bay ((1999-2001))
Rhona Mitra.... Tara Wilson ((2003-2004))
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