No show launched with higher hopes than Private Practice.
A spinoff of the hugely popular Grey's Anatomy with one of its best characters, Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), leading the way.
How could it not be a smash it?
The result, so far, as been okay. But just okay.
Despite a great cast that included a number of proven stars — Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman, Audra McDonald and Taye Diggs — the show seemed to flail, trying to find itself in its strike-shortened first season.
The Addison-moves-to-LA theme alone couldn't make this show a hit - but can a re-tooled Private Practice thrive in its second season?
"For me, it was about delineating sort of what the medicine of Private Practice is versus what the medicine of Grey's Anatomy is," said creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes.
"Grey's Anatomy is all about the surgery, and Private Practice — this season we're honing in on really making it a show that the stories tell more of the ethical dilemmas that our doctors have to face."
After all, Addison is a surgeon, so there has to be some surgery. But Shonda Rhimes says there's much more in store.
"There's very high stakes in terms of the medicine of people's everyday lives that raises questions about sort of what-would-you-do-if-you-were-in-that-situation things that cause debate and conflict and are very interesting."
Certainly, Rhimes is trying to push the show in that direction.
The Season 2 premiere (set for September 25) includes a story about parents who conceive a baby as a donor to save the life of the child they already have.
Of course, that's been done several times before on various shows.
There's apparently also a conscious attempt to make the Private Practice characters a bit more relatable. Let's just say they're not going to be quite a rich as they were in Season 1.
Cast members weren't happy when the strike cut their first season to just nine episodes, but they think the long layoff has given Rhimes a chance to "find" the show.
"Obviously, we didn't want the interruption," Walsh said. "But then, in the end, the scripts are so great and strong this year."
"I feel like it's starting over in a good way," said Daly (Dr. Pete Wilder). "When you do series television, there's always a period where you're trying to find the show. When we stopped, we were kind of trying to find the show. And I think we have taken a big leap in terms of where we started this year."
Continue reading this article in the Deseret News ...