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The Practice 

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We follow the exploits and cases of defense attorneys of a Boston law firm. Bobby Donnell is the senior defense attorney and founder of the firm.

Creator:

David E. Kelley
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880 ( 16)

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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
2004   2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   … See all »
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 55 wins & 113 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Steve Harris ...  Eugene Young 167 episodes, 1997-2004
Camryn Manheim ...  Ellenor Frutt 167 episodes, 1997-2004
Michael Badalucco ...  Jimmy Berluti 166 episodes, 1997-2004
Dylan McDermott ...  Bobby Donnell 147 episodes, 1997-2004
LisaGay Hamilton ...  Rebecca Washington 145 episodes, 1997-2003
Kelli Williams ...  Lindsay Dole 145 episodes, 1997-2003
Lara Flynn Boyle ...  Helen Gamble / ... 132 episodes, 1997-2003
Marla Sokoloff ...  Lucy Hatcher 113 episodes, 1998-2004
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Storyline

Bobby Donnell is the head of a struggling Boston law firm that seems to constantly struggle with ethical themes while defending murderers, rapists, etc. Jimmy, Eugene, Ellenor and Lindsay are junior attorneys with the firm, the streetwise receptionist, and Helen the firm's frequent adversary with the D.A.'s office in this smart and clever weekly series. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Practice See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(168 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Betty White played a recurring character on The Practice and Boston Legal; both David E Kelley shows. She also appeared in "Lake Placid"; a David E Kelley produced film during that period. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Donnell: It's better that ten guilty men go free, than one innocent man suffer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Except for Dylan McDermot, who is listed first in the opening credits, all the other cast members are listed in alphabetical order, by last name. Often, a new cast member is listed before a veteran due to this. See more »

Connections

Referenced in After Lately: A Tale of Two Lisps (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

ran out of steam
26 February 2005 | by kynocephSee all my reviews

From 1997 to 2000, this was one of the best shows on TV. The interplay between the actors was topnotch; the show was involving, often both intense and funny within the same episode, and the large but extremely talented cast interacted to create some brilliant TV. These '97-'00 episodes are highly recommended, and fortunately they are in syndication on cable.

However, from 2000 on, it seemed that Kelley was either tired of the show or hated it, because the situations, plots, and scripting became evermore implausible and forced, sometimes ridiculous. The character of Lindsay was stalked by not one, not two, but THREE serial killers, testing the bounds of improbability (she wasn't THAT pretty).

Even worse, the main characters reverted to cliché. Lindsay was made into a shrieky neurotic, while Bobby became blustery and unstable. Eugene's character became bullying, obnoxious, and overbearing; Eleanor was thrown into the background and dragged out only to give this late version of the show some believability; Jimmy was once again reduced to a buffoon when he wasn't simply being used for wallpaper; and the lovely Lucy was simply dismissed altogether. Rebecca? She was disappeared so thoroughly you'd have thought a South American death squad took her.

The arrest and imprisonment of Lindsay for the killing of her third stalker/serial killer signaled the death knell for the show. Overwrought and over-dramatized, it began to lose viewers. Kelley then axed half of his cast and brought in James Spader as an extremely eccentric attorney to try to revive the series. Although Spader and new cast members brought moments of excitement, the damage had been done, and the show faltered to a halt in 2004, with some of the characters being brought over into another show.

Overall, despite the negatives I gave above, "The Practice" is well worth watching in reruns, especially the episodes before 2000. For the most part the cast did an excellent job, touching on topical issues with heart and conscience, and giving few easy answers. After 2000, though, the drop in quality is clearly evident. A shame, but such is life in television.


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