So much has been happening behind the scenes at Private Practice ever since the fifth season ended that it is almost mind-boggling and most certainly difficult to keep up with. Starting out the summer by announcing that Tim Daly had let go, Kate Walsh announced only weeks later that she, too, would be leaving the series after just thirteen episodes next season. The head writers from the last two years left the series, leading to the appointment of a new duo for the duties, and ABC only ordered thirteen episodes for the sixth season, instead of the usual twenty-two. Still, the cast and crew has been chugging along on the upcoming season of the series as ABC continues to deny that this could be the final season for the series. However, a new interview with series creator Shonda Rhimes published today by TVGuide.com has revealed new insight on what is going on behind-the-scenes at Private Practice and what kind of year we’re looking at for the doctors of Seaside Wellness.
Rhimes addresses the ongoing speculation that these will be the final thirteen episodes of Private Practice head-on, by stating that ”I’ve been asked by [Disney] and [ABC] to come up with ideas. I’ve been percolating on this for a while and my thing is this: if I come up with something that I am excited and thrilled about and feels really creative and right, then that’s how we’re going to go.” She makes sure to add, however, that she isn’t going to continue the series simply for sake of continuing it, so should she decide not to continue past these initial thirteen episodes, she won’t, further cementing the idea that this could be Private Practice‘s last year on the air.
However, Rhimes says that none of this has deterred the cast or the writers from bringing their best to the table, as she says that they are taking a “no-holds-barred” approach to season six, revealing that each and every episode will be different from the last and barely resemble the normal Private Practice model. ”Any episodes we’ve ever wanted to do we’re doing. Any idea we ever had we’re playing,” she says.
For example, Rhimes reveals that the season premiere will use each act to focus on a different character, as the show picks up about two to three months after the events of the fifth season finale. The second episode of the season, which also happens to be the show’s landmark 100th episode, will take place completely outside of the practice and involve almost no medical stories. She goes on to detail that later episodes in the season may come to only focus on one character, as the season changes focus between characters in an effort to let us see events through different points of view. “[This is] the Rashomon season, where time has no meaning, stories overlap one another and everyone has a point of view,” she explains.
I have to admit, I find myself genuinely excited about this new approach to the sixth year of Private Practice and can’t wait to see where it takes the show and the characters. Though I feel I must also express my hope that everyone does ultimately decide to end the series with that thirteenth episode, Kate Walsh’s last, in order to give the show a proper send-off and give the series what is sure to be one hell of a memorable final season.
What are your thoughts towards the upcoming new season of Private Practice? Are you excited about Shonda Rhimes’ new approach to the season?