Television

Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle to exit 'The Practice'

MUMBAI: This will come as a huge disappointment for fans of legal drama The Practice. Dylan Mcdermott, Lara Flynn Boyle and four cast members will leave the show.

In India the show airs on Star World every Wednesday at 10 pm. A Reuters report indicates that the slimming of The Practice's actor payroll comes as the Emmy-winning series faces at least a 50 per cent reduction in the license fee paid by ABC.

The show had a difficult seventh season. The ratings took a dive after a midseason time-slot shift to Monday -- and secured an eleventh-hour pickup for 2003-04 on condition that the estimated $6.5 million license fee get reduced by half.

McDermott will guest-star in at least four episodes next season. The creator of the show David E Kelley has been quoted in the report saying, "Due to economic and creative realities, many key people will not be returning, including Dylan. It hurts, professionally and personally. This is perhaps the finest group of actors and people one could ever hope to work with; I hope for all of them to recur if possible, and if I'm lucky, I'll get to work with them on future projects as well. I'm indebted to each and every one of them."

The report indicates that cast reduction was Kelley's idea and is part of his plan to rejuvenate the veteran show, which won the outstanding drama series Emmy in 1999. Kelley is said to have noted how other long-running dramas, including NBC's Law & Order and ER have constantly used cast changes as an effective vehicle to keep a show fresh and even bring in new viewers.

Original Practice cast members who are still with the show include Camryn Manheim and Michael Badalucco.

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