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article imageReview: Shout! Factory issues the final season of 'The Practice' on DVD

By Mindy Peterman     Apr 16, 2014 in Entertainment
In its final season, David E. Kelley's legal drama lost half its cast but gained James Spader and William Shatner. A fair trade? Watch and decide.
The Practice was a legal drama that ran for eight seasons from 1997 through 2004 on ABC television. Created by David E. Kelley (Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal), the show had a successful run until the end of Season 7. That’s when the finance folks at the network deemed there could only be an eighth season if the budget for the show was drastically cut. Amazingly, half the cast, including the series' star Dylan McDermott, was fired (with essentially no explanation in the story as to why these characters were gone).
For most other series, this would be the end. But this was a David E. Kelley series and Kelley had a trump card up his sleeve: an actor by the name of James Spader. Spader was hired to play Alan Shore, an attorney of questionable ethics who was dismissed from his former law firm for embezzling. Right there you have the intrigue, the drama, and the saving grace of this final series of The Practice.
The Shore character was such a popular one that he and William Shatner’s Denny Crane (who also appears in this season) went on to star in Kelley’s wildly successful spinoff series Boston Legal. Sally Heep (Lake Bell) and Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra) also make their pre-Boston Legal debuts.
Shout! Factory recently issued Season 8 of The Practice on DVD for your viewing pleasure. This 6-disc, 22 episode collection is sure to please those who enjoyed the series through its run (although there might be a few gripes at the lack of bonus features in the set).
And for those fans of Boston Legal who missed The Practice the first time around, this final series of the show is definitely required viewing.
More about The Practice, james spader, david e kelley, Abc, Drama
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