Is This the End of 'Private Practice'? Shonda Rhimes and Cast Talk About Season 6
Is This the End of 'Private Practice'? Shonda Rhimes and Cast Talk About Season 6
Michelle Carlbert
Michelle Carlbert
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Private Practice season 6 may be premiering tonight at 10pm on ABC, but could the show already be over before it has begun?

TV Guide reports that the series was only renewed for 13 episodes this season (about half of a normal TV season). After that Kate Walsh will leave the show, saying goodbye to Addison Montgomery and Seaside Wellness. After Walsh leaves, one has to wonder if the series can continue without its star. 

"I consider this to be our no-holds-barred season."

It may be possible for the show to go on, but whether it does or doesn't, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the writers are going for it in season 6. 

"I consider this to be our no-holds-barred season. Anything that we have ever wanted to do, we're going to do. There are no rules. There's not going to be a single episode of Private Practice that's considered a typical Private Practice episode. This is our chance to really have some fun, be creative and really make every episode an out-of-the-box episode, which is what we're doing."

Adds says Caterina Scorsone, who plays Amelia Shepherd, "Every script is completely different from the format of the show last year and from each other in the season. It's like they're pulling themes out of a hat, and every episode is this totally new idea." 

Adds Walsh: "Still, at the same time keeping the integrity intact."

But for those of you who would hate to see Private Practice go, there may still be hope. Rhimes also said that if she comes up with an idea to continue the show without Walsh, she's willing to give it a try. 

"It's been a really great ride."

Either way, Walsh really is off the show. The actress said, "It's been a really great ride. Between Grey's and this show, it's been eight and a half seasons, and as awesome as it is and as much as I love every single person I work with from tip to tail, it just feels like I've got to see what's next for me."

But the show's not over yet and many fans want to know what's going to happen in the season 6 premiere. The Season 5 finale left off with a difficult choice for Addison. So did Addison accept Sam's (Taye Diggs) proposal or continue her new fling with Jake (Benjamin Bratt)? 

"Cooper. That's what's so weird," jokes Diggs, who quickly added, "I should've said Violet!" 

No matter which man she chooses, Diggs says that it will change the relationship between Sam and Jake this year. "Obviously there's going to be a bit of tension because as much as neither of them want to admit, it is a bit of a contest and there is ego involved, especially when you're dealing with love," he says.

Some really great Cooper story lines coming up

There's also some good news, especially for Cooper fans. Says Paul Adelstein, who plays Cooper, "There's some really great Cooper story lines coming up. So all the juicy ones that have been sitting there that they've been waiting for a rainy day to use, I think they're loading them all up, so I'm getting a lot of good stuff to do."

Despite everything the show has been through, there is one bright spot to come this season when Private Practice hits an important milestone: 100 episodes for the series. Says Walsh, "This is a huge deal. It's very rare in television that shows make it to 100 anymore in this day and age with all the content that's out there and all the competition and cable shows. I'm really proud, very thrilled and unexpectedly emotional. "You will, I guarantee, laugh and cry," Walsh continues. "It is deeply, deeply emotional and sad and then deeply funny."

What do think of the news of Walsh leaving the series? Would you still watch Private Practice without her?

(Image courtesy of ABC)