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Old 09-01-2020, 10:46 PM   #1
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal

Haven't selected a flag icon for this thread, as there have been physical media DVD releases of The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal in more than one country.

As far as I'm aware (I posted about it in the DVD Movies thread for another David E Kelly-created series, Picket Fences), regarding The Practice, only the first season was released on DVD in the States, the first two seasons in the UK and the first four seasons in Germany (a fellow poster posted about the German releases).

Does the German release of The Practice's second season include the Ally McBeal crossover episode "The Inmates"? How many crossover events were there between these two series? I remember watching some of Ally McBeal when it was first shown in the UK on Channel Four.

Was Boston Public in the same universe as The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal, or was it a separate series?
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:08 AM   #2
Thomas Crown Thomas Crown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post

Was Boston Public in the same universe as The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal, or was it a separate series?
Chi McBride from Boston Public appeared on Boston Legal as High School Principal whose school was being sued. I don't believe they actually mentioned on Boston Legal that it was they same character by name but it was certainly implied. That would imply a shared universe. However, Anthony Heald played 2 different characters on both shows which would go against the idea that it's the same universe.
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Old 09-02-2020, 01:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Crown View Post
Chi McBride from Boston Public appeared on Boston Legal as High School Principal whose school was being sued. I don't believe they actually mentioned on Boston Legal that it was they same character by name but it was certainly implied. That would imply a shared universe. However, Anthony Heald played 2 different characters on both shows which would go against the idea that it's the same universe.
It's been a long time, but I thought they did refer to him by name in that episode. Regardless, Camryn Manheim's character from The Practice was in an episode of Boston Public, so they were definitely in a shared universe.
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Old 09-02-2020, 01:56 AM   #4
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Oh they messed around with the "shared universe" stuff so much it was a little barking. They had The Practice characters on Ally, and Ally in The Practice, but then later on they had Lara Flynn Boyle playing a different role on Ally...
Same with Picket Fences/Chicago Hope. They had Jill and Wambaugh in a CH episode early on, but then seasons later Tom Skerritt was there in a different role... Did my head in!
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:17 AM   #5
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The Practice Volume 1 US release is season 1 and part of 2. The final season was also released in the US by Shout.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
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The Practice Volume 1 US release is season 1 and part of 2. The final season was also released in the US by Shout.
Thanks for (and I mean this in a positive way) beating me to it. I checked Deep Discount and Amazon.de yesterday, and found out that the final season of The Practice was also released in the States (looks like just the first and last seasons).

Funny you should say the volume one release in the States is the first season and part of the second season. Found on Amazon.de listings for the first four seasons and the final season (there were two volumes for exactly the same. Couldn't find a third volume for the remainder of the second season. Seems a bit strange to me, not finishing off the season, which included a crossover with Ally McBeal).

I was a bit surprised to see Studiocanal's logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the front cover artwork for some of the German releases. Were they trying to promote Boston Legal (because James Spader was in the final season), skipping the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons?
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:42 PM   #7
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albertbj View Post
It's been a long time, but I thought they did refer to him by name in that episode. Regardless, Camryn Manheim's character from The Practice was in an episode of Boston Public, so they were definitely in a shared universe.
I thought I'd read (a long time ago) that Camryn Manheim had the record (or was in second place) for playing the same character in the most TV series (beaten only by Richard Belzer playing John Munch).

Seen her recently on Stumptown.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecooldud View Post
Oh they messed around with the "shared universe" stuff so much it was a little barking. They had The Practice characters on Ally, and Ally in The Practice, but then later on they had Lara Flynn Boyle playing a different role on Ally...
Same with Picket Fences/Chicago Hope. They had Jill and Wambaugh in a CH episode early on, but then seasons later Tom Skerritt was there in a different role... Did my head in!
There was also an episode of Early Edition which had crossover appearances by characters from Chicago Hope.

Have checked the IMDb and there was a first season episode of Chicago Hope (called "Small Sacrifices") where Fyvush Finkel made a crossover appearance (playing his character from Picket Fences, Douglas Wambaugh).

I agree, crossover appearances etc. can give you a headache.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:27 AM   #9
thecooldud thecooldud is offline
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You throw in the dialogue in that PF episode with the cow giving birth to a human baby and it's in the same universe as The X Files too. Which means Chicago Hope is too. Except later on you have a character in CH humming The X Files theme tune...
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:20 AM   #10
hasslein hasslein is offline
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Quote:
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Were they trying to promote Boston Legal (because James Spader was in the final season), skipping the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons?
I think Shout just saw an opportunity as Fox was not interested in releasing anymore seasons of The Practice, to licence the last season to capitalize on Boston Legal's popularity... Looks like it was a failure as well, based on how quickly it was in bargain outlets
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:50 PM   #11
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecooldud View Post
You throw in the dialogue in that PF episode with the cow giving birth to a human baby and it's in the same universe as The X Files too. Which means Chicago Hope is too. Except later on you have a character in CH humming The X Files theme tune...
There were plans for a crossover between Picket Fences and The X-Files. The idea was scrapped, but apparently the events in the X-Files episode "Red Museum" were referenced in the Picket Fences episode "Away in the Manger".

Early Edition, which did a crossover with Chicago Hope, also did a crossover (again, one episode only) with Martial Law.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:08 PM   #12
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I think Shout just saw an opportunity as Fox was not interested in releasing anymore seasons of The Practice, to licence the last season to capitalize on Boston Legal's popularity... Looks like it was a failure as well, based on how quickly it was in bargain outlets
Some of Shout's TV releases have worked and some haven't (when they haven't worked, I'm thinking of the inconsistency, referring to Police Story and Police Woman). Obviously there's no chance of Shout and Studiocanal's German branch (if the latter still exists) being able to license the seasons they didn't release, because of who owns Fox's series now.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:21 PM   #13
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This can go in the 'this is getting ridiculous' category. Discovered this past weekend, after checking the episode guide list on EpGuides for Martial Law, that there was a two-part crossover event with long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger (it was during the latter's eighth season).
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:50 PM   #14
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After many years I finally got around to buying and watching the last couple of seasons of "Ally McBeal". Season four is good but my, season five is a total trainwreck and the series finale is depressing.

Still, the show is a gem and I'm glad I have the full collection. With all those song rights this is never going to be released in blu-ray or 4K.
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