Private Practice is an American medical drama television series which aired on ABC from September 26, 2007, to January 22, 2013. A spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, the series takes place at Seaside Wellness Center (formerly Oceanside Health & Wellness Group) and chronicles the life of Dr. Addison Montgomery, played by Kate Walsh, as she leaves Seattle Grace Hospital in order to join a private practice, located in Los Angeles. Private Practice also revolves around Addison's co-workers at Seaside Wellness Center, and how they deal with patients, and the practice while still finding time to live their everyday lives.
The series was created by Shonda Rhimes, who also serves as executive producer, alongside Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Mark Tinker, Craig Turk, and Steve Blackman, who serve as showrunners due to Rhimes's duties on Grey's Anatomy.
On May 11, 2012, Private Practice was renewed for a sixth season. The sixth season was the first not to feature Tim Daly and was announced on October 19, 2012, to be the final season. The series finale aired on January 22, 2013. Reruns can be seen in syndication on some local ABC stations.
On February 21, 2007 (2007-02-21), The Wall Street Journal reported that ABC was pursuing a spin-off of Grey's Anatomy featuring Kate Walsh's character Addison Montgomery. Subsequent reports confirmed the report, stating that an expanded two-hour broadcast of Grey's Anatomy (which aired May 3, 2007 (2007-05-03)) would serve as a backdoor pilot for the spinoff. The backdoor pilot episode features Montgomery on leave from Seattle Grace Hospital, the clinic in Los Angeles is named the Oceanside Wellness Centre. The broadcast served as the 22nd and 23rd episodes of the season (out of 25), and was directed by Michael Grossman, according to Variety. Gossip columnists Kristin Veitch and Michael Ausiello reported that the spinoff would be set in Los Angeles.
On May 3, 2007 (2007-05-03), the backdoor pilot of Private Practice aired on ABC, the pilot was in the double episode of Grey's Anatomy entitled "The Other Side of This Life", and gave a brief description of the characters in Private Practice. The cast included Amy Brenneman, Paul Adelstein, Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Chris Lowell, and Merrin Dungey.
The 2-hour episode averaged 21 million viewers, 1.9 million more viewers than Grey's Anatomy's third season 19.1 million viewers-per-episode average at the time of its airing. The episode was also No. 1 in the 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm timeslots. On May 5, 2007 (2007-05-05), it was announced, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, that Private Practice was part of ABC's 2007 fall line-up. The first TV promo for the series aired during the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, on May 17, 2007 (2007-05-17). The series premiere aired on September 26, 2007 (2007-09-26), averaging 14.41 million viewers being the most watched show in its time slot. The series premiered on British television on July 15, 2008 (2008-07-15), on LIVING. It was later moved to Thursday at 10:00 pm after Grey's Anatomy during mid-season 2009, to make room for the return of Lost.
On June 29, 2007 (2007-06-29), it was announced by ABC that Merrin Dungey, who played the role of Naomi Bennett, would be replaced by four time Tony winner Audra McDonald. ABC gave no reason for this change. On July 11, 2007 (2007-07-11), it was announced that a new character, played by KaDee Strickland, had been added to the main cast. Tony Award Winner Idina Menzel appeared in two episodes during the second season. Menzel was married to Private Practice star Taye Diggs. David Sutcliffe, Jayne Brook, and Josh Hopkins also appeared in Private Practice.
Private Practice films a lot of their exterior shots (as well as some of their outdoor storylines) in Santa Monica, California. The Oceanside Group building can be found at the corner of 4th and Wilshire in Santa Monica, California. Addison Montgomery and Sam Bennett live in rare Malibu beachfront houses right on the sand, which in reality would cost upwards of $4 million each.
The first season deals with Addison's move from Seattle to Los Angeles and her attempts to adjust to a very different type of working environment at Oceanside Wellness Group, a co-op private practice. The first season also deals with her budding relationships with her new co-workers. Among them include her best friend Naomi Bennett, a fertility specialist, and Naomi's ex-husband Sam Bennett, who specializes in internal medicine. Also working within the practice is psychiatrist Violet Turner, pediatrician Cooper Freedman, alternative medicine specialist Pete Wilder, and receptionist Dell Parker. It is revealed early on that the Bennetts established the practice with the rest of the doctors owning a share of it as well. Charlotte King, who serves as chief of staff at St. Ambrose Hospital, works with Oceanside Wellness through her dealings with Sam and her sexual relationship with Cooper.
The second season dealt with the practice's financial troubles. Naomi reveals to Addison that they are in danger of losing the practice due to unpaid debt causing Addison to tell Sam. This in turn causes a shift within the practice making Addison the new boss. Adding to the drama was the competition of a new practice, Pacific Wellcare. This new practice, located within the same building as Oceanside Wellness, was run by Charlotte causing turmoil for her and Cooper. Another happening within this season is the dynamic between Sam and Naomi who by the finale realize they can no longer be friends as well as the deepening romantic relationship of Cooper and Charlotte. Addison was romantically linked with Kevin Nelson (played by David Sutcliffe), a police officer, but later realized their relationship was going nowhere. Towards the end of the season, Addison falls in love with cardiovascular surgeon Noah Barnes, who as it turns out, is married and is expecting his first child. Matters become more complicated when Addison realizes that Noah's wife is one of her patients. Archer Montgomery (Grant Show), Addison's playboy brother, also made sporadic appearances causing trouble for her and Naomi. Archer was found to be with an aggressive brain tumor which was later diagnosed as parasites. Addison sought the professional help of her ex-husband, neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). After Derek successfully saved Archer, Addison discovered Archer was back to his old tricks cheating on Naomi. Violet stirred some of her own drama when she began dating Sheldon (Brian Benben), who works for Pacific Wellcare, and Pete. During the latter half of the season, Violet was found to be pregnant although she did not know who the father of her baby was. Furthermore, Violet found herself and her unborn baby at the mercy of a psychotic patient bent on taking Violet's baby by any means necessary in the closing moments of the season finale. Meanwhile, Dell struggled with his own issues caused by his former girlfriend's drug habits and the fight for custody of his daughter Betsey. Some of the medical cases that caused a stir and tension among the doctors at Private Practice was the issue of abortion (a first for the practice), the sex reassignment of a newborn, the sexual activity of a 12-year-old, the switching of embryos for two mothers-to-be and a young couple who later discovered they were siblings.
In the third season, Violet survives the cliffhanger in season two while she gives her baby Lucas to Pete while she recovers from the ordeal. Addison and Sam get even closer but decide not to become a couple because they don't want to hurt Naomi, Charlotte and Cooper break up, and Dell loses Heather in an explosion which nearly kills Betsey also. Addison and Pete become a couple, which causes Addison to get close to Lucas until Violet wants him back even going as far as taking Pete to court to get joint custody. Sheldon starts to fall for Charlotte after they start to sleep together and Sam and Naomi's daughter, Maya, gets pregnant and marries the father of her baby, Dink. And Derek Shepherd's sister, Dr. Amelia Shepherd, arrives in town. In the season finale, Addison and Sam finally get together while Charlotte and Cooper get engaged much to Sheldon's dismay. Pete and Violet work over their issues, while Dell and Maya get involved in a car accident and the severity of Dell's condition is overlooked while Maya was being attended to in the operating room. Dr. Amelia Shepherd, younger sister of Derek Shepherd (Addison's ex-husband), operated on him but was unable to resuscitate following Dell's heart failure. Maya survived her operation to save her spinal cord and prevent paralysis while at the same time she gives birth to a girl, who also survives the ordeal.
In the fourth season Brian Benben and Caterina Scorsone were upgraded to series regulars. The season begins with the aftermath of Dell's death, including his funeral and what happens to his daughter Betsey. Violet and Pete get married in the season premiere and finally begin a new life with their son Lucas. Addison and Sam reveal their romance to the staff of Oceanside Wellness, which causes Naomi to leave town to learn to accept their new relationship. Cooper and Charlotte's relationship continues to get stronger as they get engaged. Charlotte is raped and badly beaten by one of the patients at her hospital and decides to only tell Addison and make her keep it a secret. Charlotte later decides she does not want to tell anyone she was raped, not even Cooper. Later everyone finds out but Charlotte won't identify Lee McHenry, her rapist. Later we find out Violet was raped while she was in college. Charlotte finally decides to identify Lee because Sheldon tells her to do so. She goes to the police station, but since she did not accuse him and because of the long history of Charlotte not telling, the lawyer does not accept to charge Lee, who is later stabbed by his girl friend in self-defense. She tells the authorities about almost getting killed, which finally leads to Lee's arrest, but before this, he is saved at the surgeon's slab with Charlotte granting the procedure in spite of her being victimized by him. In the season finale it was decided that they will close down Oceanside Wellness and open another practice; and Naomi decides it would be best to move to New York to be with Gabriel.
On January 10, 2011, ABC renewed Private Practice for a fifth season. Audra McDonald, who plays the character Naomi Bennett, did not return as a regular cast member in the fifth season of Private Practice. Following the departure of Audra McDonald, Benjamin Bratt was added to the series as a regular cast member. He plays Jake Reilly, a fertility specialist "who is quite accomplished and up to speed with cutting-edge technology and procedures." The fifth season focuses on Amelia and her drug addiction, and the entire practice trying to save her life, ultimately deciding to have an intervention for her, and thus sending her to rehab. After rehab, Amelia finds out that she is pregnant by Ryan, a boyfriend who got her back into drugs and later died of an overdose. She finds out that the baby does not have a brain, but ultimately decides to take the baby to full term and donate the organs to save other children's lives. Later in the season, Cooper was revealed to have had an 8-year-old son from a previous one night stand. The son, who is named Mason, is portrayed by child actor Griffin Gluck. While Gluck initially served as a guest star, he was promoted to series regular later in the season. Gluck is notable for being the first child to be a series regular in Private Practice, or in the original series Grey's Anatomy. Mason's mother sought out Cooper after discovering that she was stricken with cancer, and she dies later in the season. Season 5 also deals with Addison not being able to have her own children, only to be able to adopt a child, Henry, just as Amelia's tragic news is given.
On May 11, 2012, ABC renewed Private Practice for a sixth season, which premiered on September 25, 2012. Tim Daly, who plays Pete Wilder did not return to the main cast in season six. In the sixth season premiere, Violet finds out that Pete hasn't shown up for court and assumes that he ran off only to find out later that he had a heart attack jogging and died. Charlotte finds outs that she's pregnant but is happy because her IUD will most likely destroy the pregnancy, only to find out she's pregnant with triplets. After a difficult pregnancy and even delivering one of the triplets at 26 weeks, Charlotte and Cooper eventually have three healthy daughters. The final episode of the series brings many happy endings: Addison and Jake marry; Sheldon quits the practice to spend time with his love who's dying of cancer; Sam and Naomi remarry and will be having a second baby; Amelia has found the love of her life; Violet finally gets over her issues with Pete's death and announces she's started writing another book.
Shortly after the May renewal, speculation arose that this would be the final season of the series. This appeared to be confirmed when Kate Walsh announced on June 12, 2012 (2012-06-12), that she would leave Private Practice after the thirteenth episode of season six. Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes confirmed on October 19, 2012, that season six and the show would end with the thirteenth episode.
Throughout the series' run, Private Practice had a handful of crossovers with its sister show, Grey's Anatomy.Season 1
Private Practice: Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) appears in the opening minutes of the first episode convincing Addison to stay in Seattle. She says that she is leaving and he tells her he'll keep her job open for as long as he can and the two part ways.
Grey's Anatomy: Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) returns to Seattle Grace for the first time since she left to perform a risky operation. She is shocked to learn how significantly everyone's lives have changed since she left
Note: This episode took place while Private Practice was on an extended hiatus due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.Season 2
In February, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice did their first extensive crossover storyline. The 3-episode arc started on Grey's Anatomy when Addison, Naomi Bennett (Audra McDonald) bring Archer Montgomery (Grant Show) to Seattle Grace to meet with Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), and Richard to remove the parasites from Archer's brain. At first Derek says it's inoperable until Sam Bennett (Taye Diggs) later comes to Seattle and gives medical advice on how to remove the parasites. Derek and Meredith perform the operation successfully. The episode ends with Derek's patient Jen Harmon (Jennifer Westfeldt) having a complication from the brain surgery Derek performed on her shortly after Archer's surgery. The story continues on Private Practice where Sam has a sudden asthma attack and is treated by Naomi and Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson). Richard wants to publicize Archer's case. Mark convinces Sam that he had an asthma attack because of the stress of Archer being with Naomi who he still has feelings for. Addison assists Derek and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) on Jen's case. The episode ends with Jen having another complication. The story concludes on Grey's Anatomy. At this point, Naomi, Sam and Archer have returned to L.A. but Derek asks Addison to stay. Derek and Addison have an argument on their course of action for Jen and Jen dies in surgery.Season 3
Private Practice: In the third episode, Miranda Bailey comes to Los Angeles with a patient to meet with the patients sister about a kidney transplant.
In January, the show did another extensive crossover story with Grey's Anatomy. Addison comes to Seattle to operate on Mark's daughter, Sloan Riley (Leven Rambin). Then Mark and Sloan travel to Los Angeles for more surgery. Addison and Mark have an ongoing tryst during this crossover.Season 4
Grey's Anatomy: In that seasons' third episode Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) comes to Seattle to reconcile with Derek.
Grey's Anatomy: Addison returns in the musical episode to assist the doctors on Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) who had gotten into a serious car accident and was 6 months pregnant at the time.
Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice did their last crossover before the series finale in 2013. On Grey's Anatomy, Amelia returns to Seattle to convince Derek and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) to operate on Erica Warner (A.J. Langer) who has a gliosarcoma. Lexie helps Amelia practice and Derek eventually agrees to help as well. Then on Private Practice, Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein) and Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) bring Erica to Seattle Grace to meet with Derek, Lexie and Amelia about the operation. Erica's surgery is successful.After Private Practice
In April 2014 Amelia returned to Grey's Anatomy for the last four episodes of the tenth season. She became a series regular for Season 11.
Private Practice initially received mixed reviews. Metacritic which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gave the show a score of 45 based on 25 critical reviews. The first episode was somewhat panned by critics and The New York Times described the show's characters as "collectively offer[ing] one of the most depressing portrayals of the female condition since The Bell Jar."
To date, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released the entire series on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4. The series is also available for download on iTunes Store.
Private Practice started airing in broadcast syndication on weekends beginning September 15, 2012.