"Private Practice" Cast Shake-Up
What's going down at "Private Practice"? Is there trouble in Kate Walsh's sun-drenched paradise already? ABC studio has confirmed that Tony-winner Audra McDonald will replace Merrin Dungey in the role of Dr. Naomi Bennet, Addison's best friend.
The "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off cast was put together from the actors who had already been under contract with ABC studio (Taye Diggs and Tim Daly starred in ABC's failed dramas "Daybreak" and "The Nine," respectively).
Following somewhat harsh criticism of the backdoor pilot episode of "Private Practice" disguised as a two-hour "Grey's Anatomy" May sweeps stunt, the studio was concerned the cast lacked chemistry.
Does this early trouble mean "Private Practice" will be to "Grey's Anatomy" what the hideous "Models Inc" was to "Melrose Place" or the tedious "The Colbys" to "Dynasty"? Not necessarily.
"Brothers & Sisters" underwent some major cast changes and experienced backstage drama last summer before the final product clicked with the audiences and ended up being one of ABC's rare freshman success stories.
Of course, unlike "Brothers & Sisters" that began from scratch, "Private Practice" is bringing some heavy baggage - the show's target audience are those die-hard "Grey's Anatomy" fans, who hated seeing the beloved character Addison Montgomery leave Seattle Grace behind and they may give the new show very little benefit of the doubt.