Exclusive: Which Two Practice Alums Are Dropping By Harry's Law?

I have good news for fans of David E. Kelley’s pantheon of legal dramedies. Not one but two stars of The Practice are set to guest on DEK’s’s new NBC series, Harry’s Law (premiering Monday).

Harry’s Law stars Kathy Bates as a disenfranchised patent lawyer who sets up shop in a rough nabe after getting canned by her firm. The Practice alumni paying the new show a visit are Steve Harris, whose episode airs January 31, and Camryn Manheim (whose appearance has not yet been scheduled).

Interestingly, neither actor is reprising their role from The Practice — Eugene and Eleanor. Instead, Kelley tells TVLine, “They’re playing completely different characters” — a convict up for parole and an assistant DA, respectively.

In fact, Harry’s Law might not ever be visited by other David E. Kelley characters. For one, DEK is in no rush to go the crossover route. And secondly, having Harris and Manheim on as other people would effectively preclude Practice lawyers from entering this new universe (which, by the way, is rooted in Cincinnati).

“And by eliminating The Practice [from consideration], that eliminates Ally McBeal, since we crossed over those worlds,” Kelley explains. “And we also crossed The Practice and Boston Public, so I guess that one’s out the window too.”

Similarly, Boston Legal was directly born of The Practice, so its colorful characters are also out of the running.

Regardless, Harry’s Law promises typically quirky David E. Kelley goodness in its own right. Nate Corddry (The United States Of Tara) and Brittany Snow (American Dreams) work alongside Baker’s title character, who works out of a storefront law firm-slash-shoe store (yes, really!).

Will you be checking the show out on Monday night?

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18 Comments
  1. xav says:

    Doesn’t David E Kelley know his own shows? Since Boston Legal is a de facto spin-off of The Practice, carrying on the characters of Alan Shore, Denny Crane and Tara Wilson.

  2. Ryan says:

    Maybe we can still hope for Fyvush Finkel’s character from Picket Fences, Douglas Wambaugh, to pop up. Picket Fences was DEK’s crowning achievement.

    • Rock Golf says:

      Wambaugh appeared on Chicago Hope, too. And there was an implicit crossover between Picket Fences and X-Files (originally planned as a full-out crossover but turned down by CBS), which had an appearance by Det Munsch from Homicide/Law & Order, so I guess it’s goodbye to Harry’s Law/SVU synergy, too.

  3. Sad but interested! says:

    Aww!! I would love to see actors from the oldies/goodies appear as their respective characters! However, I am still interested in Harry’s Law! I will check it out! Love DEK!

  4. Mona Carol says:

    I don’t know, Matt. I’ve seen shows do stuff like this before, and STILL cross over old universes, and expect folks not to notice. ;)

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yeah, well, DEK was pretty firm about it — especially if two main players show up as completely different characters. And he said he wouldn’t be in any rush to cross over, either.

  5. Lynn says:

    Fyvush Finkel has been died for a couple years now so unless his ghost of douglas wambaugh appears, no go

  6. Josh says:

    Um Fyvush Finkel is actually still living. He’s around 88 right now. He just completed a role in something called “The Other Men in Black”, which is in post production.

  7. Jenn says:

    As much as I love all the characters from the aforementioned DEK series, I don’t mind seeing the actors in different roles. I’m sure they appreciate getting to spread their acting wings and fly as other, probably very different characters. (Steve Harris in particular. Oh how I’ve missed seeing him in stuff!) I miss Denny Crane and Alan Shore with every fiber of my being, but I know it was time to let them go. Can’t wait for Harry’s Law! Hope it’s as offbeat and quirky as all the others! YAY!

  8. Belinda says:

    I will be watching. I love Kathy Bates and David E Kelly shows always have great writing. It would be fun to see the old characters but it has been so long that the new viewers would not understand the reference.

  9. Jasin says:

    First of all I will be watching Harry’s Law. I love DEK shows. Second, he has done it all the time with both crossovers and then guests playing different characters then other DEK shows. For example, Chi McBride appeared in an episode of Boston Legal playing Principal Steven Harper from Boston Public. But he also had in Boston Legal, Anthony Heald, who played Vice Principal Scott Guber in Boston Public, playing a judge for 4 or 6 episodes. So I wouldn’t rule out crossovers just yet.

    • Jasin says:

      Also Jeri Ryan, Ms. Cook from Boston Public, played in Boston Legal as a different character. Albeit one that lived in LA in the two eps Crane and Shore went to the Cali office.

  10. Steve says:

    This shouldn’t surprise people. Other than Alan and Tara, none of the regular cast from “The Practice” ever showed up on “Boston Legal”, which should have been a great opportunity for crossovers (several BL regulars did guest star on “The Practice” during its last few episodes, to set up BL). I even remember actors who had bit parts as judges on “The Practice” turning up as different judges on BL (where it would have made perfect sense for them to play the same characters), so I think DEK deliberately wanted to downplay the connection.

  11. beth says:

    Here’s something – Kathy Baker, Loretta Devine and Peter Macnicol also appeared as different characters (including big ones) in The Practice/Boston Legal/Boston Public/Ally McBeal world. Though in the case of Baker and Devine, they played one-and-out characters first, so maybe that makes a difference. And wow my head is going to explode from what a huge nerd I am, lol.

    Here’s something – Paul McCrane (awesome!) I think was in The Practice pilot and will also be (looks like) in ep one of Harry’s Law.

    And to double my nerd points, I would also mention Zeljko Ivanek (awesome!) played 2 different guys on The Practice and one on Ally McBeal. Though, really, they were just guest roles, so I guess that doesnt count and, more importantly, if you start cross referencing Zeljko Ivanek nothing on TV will ever, ever make sense again, and I include in that “nothing” Sesame Street, the old Batman series and Praying The Rosary with Mother Angelica.

    How was Bill Erwin (R.I.P.) never on a DEK show? He could have fist-fought Fyvush Finkle (A.L.I.V.E.). I’d watch that.

    Anyhow, I guess we could just write it all off as dopplegangers, but I hope Kelley goes with bringing back good actors while leaving the old stuff in the past; that universe was fun while it lasted but, really, by Boston Legal, it was, well enough already, IMO.

    As for Kathy Bates, she was in About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson who was in A Few Good Men …with Kevin Bacon. Sorry. Had to be said. lol.

  12. KM says:

    John Larroquette appeared in multiple episodes of The Practice and was a regular on Boston Legal with a completely different characters. Since both shows aree in the same universe, I don’t think Manheim and Harris’s playing different characters now should be an impediment for future crossovers.

  13. Tabitha says:

    1) Fellow commentor beth- impressive connections! I love heraing that stuff!
    2) this show has a great lineup of talent so far inherently, let alone planned guest stars. This is definitely on my list. How ever will j fit another show on my DVR Monday nights? Networks should soon realize there are other tv days that feel inferior.

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