Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kate Walsh to leave Private Practice

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Kate Walsh has announced that she’s leaving ABC’s underperforming ‘Private Practice’ this season.

The show, a spinoff of the popular ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ is going into its sixth season.

Many fans believe this will be the show’s final season (not just Walsh’s) – even though that hasn’t been officially announced. Most people also believe it will only be a 13-episode final season – since that’s all Walsh signed up for and that's all ABC ordered at the spring upfronts.

In fact, show creator Shonda Rhimes told TV Guide that she was told to approach the season by ABC executives as if it would be a full season – and not craft an ending with episode 13.

I don’t see how this makes any sense at all.

ABC should let Rimes end the show at 13 episodes – creating something that at least has a hint of quality.
‘Private Practice’ hasn’t always been stellar television, but it has had some gripping moments – including Charlotte’s graphic rape, Violet’s stolen baby and Addison and Sam’s sweet romance.

Sure, the show has also made Addison a rampant narcissist that is largely unlikeable at times – but she still has the same fire she had when she was first introduced on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in season two. This was never more evident than when Addison forced her way into Amelia’s room in the season finale to help her deliver her dying baby.

Original cast member Tim Daly (Pete) announced a few weeks ago that his contract option had not been picked up and he would be leaving the show as well -- I guess Pete will go to prison for pulling a Jack Kevorkian.

This was obviously a cost-cutting move by show executives – but it was also a slap in the face to fans that had invested in the Pete and Violet romance.

At this rate, the only two couples left on the show to root for will be Amelia and Sheldon and Charlotte and Cooper. I like both couples, don’t get me wrong, but they can’t anchor the show.

ABC should suck it up and announce that the 13th episode of the season will be the end of ‘Private Practice’ – and not cut any of the cast along the way.

This would allow Rhimes to give fans what they want in a timely fashion – including a Sam and Addison wedding – and let the show die with a little dignity.

As it is, the ratings will probably be so bad when it returns it will end after 13 episodes anyway.

Unfortunately, though, since she didn’t’ have the time to write what she wanted none of the characters will end up where they should be -- and fans will be infuriated by the ending.

What do you think? Should ABC just cancel ‘Private Practice’ and be done with it?


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