Skip to main content

The Practice goes on without McDermott

Although ABC has renewed David E. Kelley's The Practice for another
year, it will come back to its old time slot with a very different look.

Star Dylan McDermott and five other major cast members -- Kelli Williams,
Lara Flynn Boyle, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Chyler Leigh and Marla Sokoloff -- are
leaving the show.

Camryn Manheim, Michael Badalucco and Steve Harris are all staying, and
McDermott is expected to have several guest appearances next year.

ABC reupped the show for one more year at a much-reduced license fee of
$3 million-plus per episode, according to reports, requiring the show's
producers to cut salaries if it wasn't going to finance at a huge deficit for
the studio.

The cast departures came less than one week after upfronts when McDermott and
Williams walked out on stage and waved to advertisers, and then apparently went
back to Hollywood and waved good-bye (and possibly used other hand gestures) to
the network.

ABC and Kelley have been at odds ever since the network moved The
Practice
, going into its seventh season, to Mondays at 9 p.m.

That pitted the show against Fox's Joe Millionaire, the success of
which was unforeseen, and took a huge bite out of its ratings.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.