Henry Winkler will forever be remembered for his role on Happy Days as the Fonz. The series ran for 11 seasons, his leather jacket can be seen at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and there’s now a bronze statue of the character in Milwaukee. Winkler later had a recurring role on FOX’s Arrested Development and most recently returned to weekly television in CBS’ Out of Practice.
Out of Practice debuted on September 19, 2005 and only 22 episodes were produced. The series centers around a marriage counselor named Ben Barnes (Christopher Gorman). Though his wife dumps him in the first episode, Ben seems like a success career-wise – to everyone but his own immediate family. They include Ben’s divorced parents, gastroenterologist Stewart Barnes (Winkler) and cardiologist Lydia Barnes (Stockard Channing); his brother Oliver Barnes (Ty Burrell), a womanizing, plastic surgeon; and their sister, Regina Barnes (Paula Marshall), a lesbian E.R. doctor. All in the family are physicians, with the exception of Ben, and they have a way of looking down on him because of it – despite the fact that’s he’s the most normal of the bunch. Others in the sitcom include Jennifer Tilly, Carson Elrod, and Kelly Fennell.
The sitcom lasted one season before being cancelled by the network. Only 14 episodes aired, leaving eight stranded on the network’s shelf. To date, the entire series hasn’t been aired in the United States.
One of the downsides of such a short run is that one doesn’t get to see the characters fully develop or evolve. One of the more interesting dynamics on Practice was between Winkler and Channing. Though they had divorced and obviously had some serious animosity for one another, there also seemed to be some underlying sexual tension as well. We asked Winkler about what the future might have held for the characters. Stay tuned!
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