ABC is closing its Private Practice. The medical drama will end its run this season when it completes the 13-episode order it received in May as ABC has opted not to give it a back 9 pickup. Meanwhile, ABC has given additional episode orders to the series that spawned Private Practice, veteran Grey’s Anatomy (two episodes for a 24-episode order), as well as established comedies Modern Family and The Middle (two episodes each) and mystery dramedy Castle (one episode).
I hear ABC brass and Grey’s and Private Practice creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes recently came to the conclusion that the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff had run its course, and it was time for it to end after five-and-a-half seasons. The final cancellation decision was made this afternoon, and Rhimes just broke the news to the Private Practice cast and crew. (Read Rhimes’ Twitter note to fans below) The decision would enable the series to end by wrapping the storyline of its central character Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh). Private Practice was facing the pending departure of Walsh, who is leaving after Episode 13, which will now be Private Practice’s series finale. Private Practice, which started off as a two-hour planted spinoff episode of Grey’s Anatomy, was built around Walsh’s character on Grey’s. Tim Daly, Private Practice‘s original male lead, left at the end of last season when his option was not picked up.
Private Practice had an OK launch on Wednesday and really flourished when it was moved behind Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday midway through its second season. Last spring, it was relocated to Tuesday 10 PM to make room for Rhimes’ newest drama, Scandal, which looks good for a back order. Private Practice has been a soft Live+Same Day ratings performer in its new Tuesday slot but has been a big Live+7 gainer, with its recent sixth-season premiere jumping 63% to a 3.1 rating in adults 18-49.
I’m sad to say that Private Practice’s run will end after episode 613 this season. There was a lot of discussion and debate but, in the end, the guys at the network and the studio and I all decided that Private Practice was reaching its finish line. Creatively, we are all extremely proud of the show and especially proud of this season — which you will all soon discover is a creative renaissance. I can’t wait for you to see it.
It’s heartbreaking to end. Truly. I feel so lucky to write for these characters and tell these stories and I truly feel this show has taught me so much as a writer. And there’s a family here, of crew and cast, people who have bonded over these past five and a half seasons. It’s rare for a show to go for more than 100 episodes and we are incredibly proud to have been such a show. And we’re grateful to all of you for spending time with us for an hour every week for the last 6 years. It’s meant the world.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.