8:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Private Practice' Cast on How the Series Ended -- and Their Spinoff Ideas
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Jan. 22 series finale of Private Practice, titled "In Which We Say Goodbye."]
After six seasons and more than 100 episodes, ABC's Private Practice came to an end on Jan. 22 with a series finale that delivered one strong message: Life at Seaside Wellness would continue on.
For the medical drama that started as a spinoff of Shonda Rhimes's Grey's Anatomy, the last episode came with both the expected (Addison and Jake romantically tied the knot) and surprises (theirs wasn't the only wedding) as it opted to allow the audience to know that Charlotte, Cooper, Amelia and company would keep the medical center going with lively kitchen debates as a new generation gathered nearby -- in Pete's office.
The Hollywood Reporter was on the set for Sam and Naomi's wedding and quizzed the cast on how their characters' storylines wrapped up and their thoughts on what a Private Practice spinoff would revolve around.
Kate Walsh (Addison)
On the finale: "It was hugely emotional, and there were a lot of tears. It felt very dreamy and symbolic: Addison is being sent off into this new life, and all the characters are being sent into their world to do what's next," Walsh says. "It was great having Audra back; she and Taye are two of my favorite actors. I love seeing them play together, and it was reminiscent of old times. Between takes was my favorite part. I love it because it's got a little Much Ado About Nothing kind of vibe and a bit of Jane Austen in there; it's a fairytale and fantastic and a really great ending."
Spinoff idea: "It would revolve around Charlotte and Cooper, and they start their own thing. Or I'd love to follow Violet wherever she is going to go."
Benjamin Bratt (Jake)
On the finale: "Addison's life is a kind of a fairytale, so it's certainly an appropriate ending that she gets the baby, she gets the marriage, she gets the guy and she gets the happiness," he says. "Audiences have been not only rooting for that but they'll be gratified to see that's finally what she does receive."
Spinoff idea: "I'll leave it to the writers to come up with something good!" the humble Bratt says with a smile.
Taye Diggs (Sam)
On the finale: " So satisfied! I couldn't have written it better myself. It makes the most sense to me. The Stephanie character was sweet, sassy and a lot of fun, but for Sam, it's hard to compete with first love and a grandkid -- it's family," Diggs says of Sam and Naomi's second attempt at marriage.
Spinoff idea: "It would be about me and Paul Adelstein: We're surgeons by day, cops by night, and it would be called Cop Docs!" Diggs says with a roar. "It's an hourlong musical comedy and we're lip-synching contemporary pop music like Britney Spears. Paul sings only Barbra Streisand."
Audra McDonald (Naomi)
On the finale: "I'm so happy for Naomi in the end, because she deserves that happiness. I never felt like it was quite over with her and Sam," she says. "I do think it's fitting they end up together. It's hard to replace first love, and they have so many roots in the earth -- they have this child and a grandchild. The love story between Sam, Addison and Naomi ends the way it's supposed to -- it was just figuring out where that love needs to live, and I think it ends in the right place. I'm very satisfied and happy. I'd have been really sad watching that last episode if I had not been a part of it."
Spinoff idea: "I'd want it to be the children of Private Practice: Charlotte and Cooper's kids, me and Sam's kids, Henry and Lucas," she explains. "That would be a fun thing to see the children of Private Practice and what happens to them -- we see them 10-15 years from now, and are they all drug addicts or are they rich little brats. It'd be fun. I'd call it Public Pests!"
KaDee Strickland (Charlotte)
On the finale: "I'm hugely satisfied with how things ended. To play this character -- honest to God and I say this in all humbleness -- I truly believe, to the core, I have one of the best and most interestingly written female characters on network television today," she says. "There's a part of me that's glad that we're not settled with nine babies on set at all times, because that would be very hard to shoot!"
Spinoff idea: "I think Griffin Gluck deserves his own show," she says of the actor behind her onscreen son Mason.
Paul Adelstein (Cooper)
On the finale: "Shonda wanted to feel that this group remains intact," Adelstein says of Cooper forgoing life as a stay-at-home-dad and returning to the practice. "They didn't want to feel like they were pulling the pieces out and scattering them in the wind. The last scene is hilarious and touching when the doctors in the kitchen have an ethical debate about Violet, who names her book Private Practice, and it's a discussion of the title. Cooper says, 'That title is stupid!' while Addison likes it. It's a fitting ending that they're all in the kitchen having an argument."
Spinoff idea: "It would be called Triplets and wouldn't feature Cooper and Charlotte, but just see what happens to their kids in 15 years," he says.
Amy Brenneman (Violet)
On the finale: "I've been wearing Pete's ring, and we were going to write something to that, and we never got around to what that means. I also wanted Tim [Daly] to be invoked," she says of her former onscreen husband and the decision to have Violet end up happily alone. "We had all sorts of ideas -- and we're all in the elevator and the elevator shaft breaks and we all die! (Laughs) I had this idea where I reach into Addison and pull out a battery, and the reveal is we're all androids. Shonda said her vision, which is very sweet, is that these people continue in the imaginations of the audience. While there's closure, it's nothing catastrophic. It's a very loving and dignified ending." Originally, the plan was to have Violet hook up with a guy she met at a bookstore in the penultimate episode of the series. "I internalized that Violet has never been very good at relationships and the thinking that she has to be in one now that she has Lucas, there's freedom that she doesn't have to put pressure on herself," Brenneman says of pushing Violet ending up happily single. "The idea that Pete was grouchy but Violet isn't good in a relationship, either. That self-knowledge I really liked."
Spinoff idea: "I leave that to the writers!"
Caterina Scorsone (Amelia)
On the finale: "Her journey was incredibly arduous: she went through the ringer, and in the end, she was able to put herself back together with the help of her friends and find love," she says of her longterm relationship with James (Matt Long). "She was healed and ready to give and receive love."
Spinoff idea: "It would be called Triplets and be all about the antics of the babies, with Amelia as the best babysitter ever, what with her history of drug abuse!" she says with a laugh. "She's a great babysitter and a great role model for those girls!"
Were you satisfied with the series finale of Private Practice? Hit the comments with your thoughts.