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Private Practice has weathered a lot to get to 100 episodes.
The California-set medical drama from Shonda Rhimes started as a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy, following Kate Walsh‘s Dr. Addison Montgomery as she left the gray skies of Seattle for the California beach as she pursued her then elusive fairy tale of love, marriage and children.
“It’s rare to get to 100 episodes for a show, and a lot of things have to come together,” Walsh told The Hollywood Reporter during an early August visit to the Hollywood set to celebrate the milestone, noting the series had to go beyond several hurdles to achieve the feat.
“It’s a spinoff, No. 1; No. 2 is a writers’ strike, so we had a huge break from production; No. 3, we came back from the strike and everything was changing,” she said of the obstacles, which more recently have included moving form its longtime home on Thursdays post-Grey’s to Tuesdays following Dancing With the Stars. “We’ve changed nights and time slots, and none of it has mattered — the fans have stayed with us and love the show. I’m really proud of it.”
While the 100th episode will see the group gathering at Addison’s to deal with Pete’s unexpected death, the cast members singled out Tuesday’s hour, titled “Mourning Sickness,” as likely to join two others — season five’s “The Breaking Point” and season four’s “‘Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?” — among their favorites.
“When we were shooting the addiction episode where Caterina Scorsone‘s Amelia spirals in her addiction and we all intervene, I remember sitting around — and mind you, when you are isolated on one set, sitting for that many hours with the same people, most people get stir crazy. It was so hilarious, there was so much joy,” KaDee Strickland said of the off-camera vibe around the episode. “When Kate decided to start talking about her off-camera acting class, it was hilarious. And I have a feeling this episode is going to be filled with a lot of that, too.
“My favorite has to be the intervention episode; it was so much fun to do,” she added. “I really got to take Amelia to an extreme place, which was a great workout. And not only was it fantastic writing — it was penned by Shonda — but the whole cast was together for almost every scene in the episode, so we were having a great time on- and off-camera. If you haven’t heard a dozen times yet, this cast really gets along.”
Said co-star Brian Benben: “I really like the episode where we had the intervention for Amelia. Caterina was so good in that and it was really a well-crafted episode.” Even co-star Benjamin Bratt — who didn’t join the series until after that episode — puts it among his favorites. “Hands down, I think it was some of the best work that the show has done,” he said.
Rhimes, meanwhile, said Strickland’s episode — which featured the aftermath Charlotte’s brutal rape and her colleagues finding out about the assault — and Joel Grey‘s euthanasia hour “Nothing to Fear” — rank among her favorites.
“The other episode that I really love and feel strongly about is the intervention episode, which to me was a completely different way of us doing our show and also was really hardcore and a very interesting thing,” Rhimes said. “We tried a bunch of stuff that I don’t think I’ve ever tried as a writer, and that was exciting.
“We’re really excited about the accomplishment,” Rhimes added. “This is a really great group of people. We love getting to work together, and we want to get to keep doing it. The fans have kept us alive for all of this time, and it’s exciting to know that we still have stories to tell.”
Walsh, meanwhile, had a hard time picking just one favorite. “I loved all of my stuff with JoBeth Williams and my whole family,” she said. “When Addison’s family came in a couple of seasons ago, I loved all of that. The point is that they just never fail in thinking of new dynamics for characters to play, whether it’s turning this character on their side and they have an affair or they’ve got family issues, it’s just so fun. it’s been a blast.”
Private Practice‘s 100th episode airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday on ABC. Which episode stands out as your favorite? Hit the comments with your thoughts.
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