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Does Mixed Fan Reaction Leave Future of "Private Practice" in Doubt?

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Does Mixed Fan Reaction Leave Future of "Private Practice" in Doubt?Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) left Grey's Anatomy last week, ostensibly for her own spinoff show, tentatively titled Private Practice.

Now it's up to ABC to decide if that spinoff is justified.

From a numbers standpoint, it's an easy decision. Last Thursday's two-hour episode, "The Other Side of This Life," in which Addison left Seattle Grace for a new start and new pals in Santa Monica, Calif., drew over 21 million viewers.

But from a critical standpoint, it's, well, a Grey area.

The spinoff was greeted less-than-enthusiastically by many Grey's Anatomy fans, who voiced their displeasure on online forums and message boards.

"It was the first time that Grey's has been on ABC that I went to bed before it was over," one fan wrote.

"Addison will never make it on her own show. The characters were not very good on the new show and it was annoying to watch."

"Awful is an understatement," replied another. "I had two phone calls from friends after the first hour and we all had the same opinion - it sucked."

ABC officials, so far, have been quiet regarding the spinoff, the fate of which will be clear Tuesday when ABC unveils its upcoming fall schedule at its "upfront" presentation.

One network insider yesterday described ABC officials as "thrilled" with the show's ratings and "very happy" with its content, which was supplied by show creator Shonda Rhimes (who wrote the two-hour episode).

It was, in effect, ABC's reward to Shonda Rhimes for creating a ratings powerhouse - but at the risk of alienating some Grey's Anatomy viewers.

"If they're going to do a spinoff, they should do it now while the iron is hot," analyst Marc Berman of Mediaweek tells the New York Post.

"The thing about taking Kate Walsh off Grey's Anatomy is that you're not losing a lot ... it's taking a secondary character and building a show around that person.

"As long as Shonda Rhimes doesn't stretch herself too thin it's a good idea - and I hear she has a whole new crew [for the spinoff] and a show runner."

And, to be fair, not every fan was put off by Addison's venture into new territory.

"I have to say I loved the show so much I have watched it 3 times already," writes one fan in a typical "loved it" posting.

"Their ploy worked - I will now be looking for this spinoff to start because I think it will be just a good as Grey's."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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ugh,,, 19 minutes into tonights show and i can see that private practice is going to be a flop. they killed us with that episode in may and now this? PP will never make it.. we're only here for greys. period.

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I love Greys - I am a hardcore Greys Fan.. But Private Practice is a mistake, Addison rocks and she's funny but don't we have enough Medical shows on TV? Seriously.. Greys, Scrubs, ER, House, etc. But maybe it can work.. Shonda is talented, but the plot was so horrible.. and all those 40 -somethings checking out the goofy surfer/receptionist? Puh-lease. Maybe if.. they show PP when Greys is not on the air it can work.. all we'll have is Addision to hold us off until the next season.

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Hooray for DVR!! I normally am putting my little girl to sleep during the normal air time of Grey's Anatomy, so after watching a few segments of Private Practice, I ultimately forwarded through each of the following segments. Something didn't catch with me...maybe b/c I'm not a big Addison fan?

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I also agree 100% to all that was said here.
I did not watch the PP parts in last week episodes for the first time in 50 something shows I used the >>FF>> button doesn't that say a lot.

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all i wanted to say is of course the new show got 21 million viewers...they embedded it within the real grey's episode. how many people were going to turn off the tv when a 5 second grey's scene was pending? however, this was a fantastic tool...they knew no one would turn it off, so they got the ratings they were looking for. i wonder what would have happened if they had actually had two separate episodes (first, grey's; second, private practice) like they had originally advertised? the show has potential. i think it will grow on me and other viewers (not like grey's but i may ocasionally watch it). but the name has got to go. its just stupid.

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I felt disappointed with the Spin-off, it felt too much like a "G.A. WANNABE" The girl with the husband who couldn't do it sounded so much like Izzie when she was complaining, it gave me a headache. Bring back the good ol charm of Grey! (the one it had in the 2nd season, which, in my opinion, was the best of all 3.)

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I'll save myself some typing and agree with 99.9% what everyone above said because that's howw I feel.

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High ratings my ass. The only way that garbage got high ratings wasy because it was in the way of Greys. It really annoyed me to have to watch crap between very fleeting scenes of Greys. I hope PP fails so Shonda gets to realizing she's not such a hot shot. Maybe then she'll get her act together and start writing good greys, like how it was in season 1 and 2. I thhink we can all agree (with the exception of Gizzie fans) that season 3 was a dissapointment.

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I think I would have had a better reaction if the Private Practice spinoff stuff didn't interrupt every 30 seconds of Greys/SGH. SERIOUSLY.

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I think the most annoying thing about this article and Shonda saying that "it's not a spinoff" is that everyone seems to think the audience are a bunch of idiots. First of all, it WAS the spinoff, there was not enough GA to even justify calling it an episode. Secondly, it is disingenuous of Shonda & Co. to claim such high ratings for Private Practice, when, as stated above by many others, viewers were clearly tuning in for what they THOUGHT was a 2 hr. Grey's. I absolutely HATED last week's episode and the intro of PP characters---I thought the writing was weak, silly, superficial and tried to hard to hit the right "demographic"---I also think they are messing with all the elements that have kept me glued to Grey's for all 3 seasons. Season 3 has been an absolute debacle since the silly drowning episode....the writing has deteriorated to such a low level and the entire show is depressing and contrived. The Izzie Incest arc (w/George--absolutely sick, NOT romantic in any way shape or form)--the continued abuse, emotional & even physical with her father's outburst last week, and the demasculination of McDreamy (more like McGirly with all his weeping and indecisiveness of this season) makes me want to scream. Shonda seems to be trying to see how low she can go. I am sick of the pandering to prurient interests---I simply don't believe that these talented and wonderful people (the characters, not necessarily the actors) cannot find anyone in Seattle to have a decent, adult relationship with, and must screw around with their friends and roommates and coworkers with complete abandon. Not to mention the run on penicillin with all the unprotected sex these supposedly educated and savvy adults are having.
Shonda asked us to "take a leap of faith" with her---sorry, I've been leaping higher than a skyscraper all season and I just can't stomach the show anymore. Used to love the characters Shonda, but I think the spell has been broken.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith