Series creator Shonda Rhimes has announced that the current season of Private Practice will be the show’s last. The medical drama, a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, has been declining in the ratings for some time.
ABC only ordered 13 episodes for the current sixth season and star Kate Walsh had said she was planning to leave at that time. The network declined to say that the show was ending, likely wanting to wait and see how the ratings did this season. They have not been good.
Back in July, Rhimes told THR, “I’ve been told I’m not allowed to approach this as the final season, that the network does not believe that approaching it as the final season is the way they want to go.”
Tonight, Rhimes broke the news to fans:
I’m sad to say that Private Practice’s run will end after episode 613 this season. There was a lot of discussion and debate but, in the end, the guys at the network and the studio and I all decided that Private Practice was reaching its finish line. Creatively, we are all extremely proud of the show and especially proud of this season — which you will all soon discover is a creative renaissance. I can’t wait for you to see it.
It’s heartbreaking to end. Truly. I feel so lucky to write for these characters and tell these stories and I truly feel this show has taught me so much as a writer. And there’s a family here, of crew and cast, people who have bonded over these past five and a half seasons. It’s rare for a show to go for more than 100 episodes and we are incredibly proud to have been such a show. And we’re grateful to all of you for spending time with us for an hour every week for the last 6 years. It’s meant the world.
Presumably this decision was made in time for Rhimes, the cast and crew to be able to wrap up the show’s storylines in a satisfying way. Word is that many of the remaining episodes will be told from the point of view of individual characters. Addison’s will air on November 13th.
The final episode is expected to air in February and ABC has said they plan to heavily market the finale.
What do you think? Are you sorry that Private Practice is ending this season or did it go on too long? What will you miss about it?