KaDee Strickland Sounds Off on Private Practice's Tuesday Move and Teases 'A Helluva Finale!'

For months, Private Practice fans have been fretting: What does the show’s move to Tuesdays at 10 mean for its chances of renewal?

What it means, I have been repeatedly saying, is… you now need to watch the show Tuesdays at 10. “That’s exactly right,” says cast member KaDee Strickland, echoing my stance.

Speaking with TVLine about the ABC drama’s Tuesday move (kicking off tonight), Strickland notes a bit of a double standard being expressed by those who see the arrival of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal as a bad omen for her Grey’s Anatomy spin-off.

“It’s so funny to me, because we don’t ask that question about David Kelley, or J.J. Abrams, or other great show runners that have multiple things going on. So I don’t think we should ask that of Shonda,” opines the actress. “I’m not one to sit around and look for the ‘worst case scenario.’ We should sort of anticipate good news.”

If only, Strickland says, because Private Practice has quite a finale scheduled for May 15. “Because of the way the show ends this season, it feels to me that a renewal would best serve us,” she teases with a slightly wicked laugh. “It’s a helluva ending.”

I ran by Strickland a flurry of finale rumors I’ve been hearing, including that one character will be shot, while another lands in jail. “Some of that is rumor, honey, unless they’ve made some big script changes that I don’t know about!” she responded. “Shonda likes to reinvent her scripts often, and I think some of that stuff is based on ‘maybe’ ideas, but not all of them have come to fruition. And some of them have.”

In addition to what the finale has in store for Charlotte and Cooper (more on that in a moment,) Strickland is pulling for Season 6 in part “to see what Shonda does with Addison, because, boy, does she leave things in an interesting place for that character. It’s fascinating, I can tell you that.”

Rewinding a bit, tonight’s spring premiere finds Charlotte and Cooper doing their best to brace an in-denial Mason for his mother’s actual death, following Erica’s weeks of declining health. “One of the most interesting parts of this storyline for me, personally, is thinking about the way we all process death – and how do you do that when you’re a little boy?” says Strickland. “How do you do it when your mom has already lived through a miraculous surgery? How do you engage that child with reality?”

To that end, Charlotte will spend time with ailing Erica while Cooper tends to the son he never knew he had but now has embraced. “How we deal with both of those worlds and help each of them accept certain realities… is kind of a sticky situation,” Strickland reveals. “But it feels to me very real, like something that people watching the show will understand. That’s gut-wrenching for me as the actor to perform, knowing that so many people have been through a similar situation.”

Inevitably, Charlotte and Cooper will be left to parent Mason, and that turn of events – certainly something no one saw coming heading into this season, let alone a year ago – is another reason why Strickland is rooting for renewal.

“I would love to see where Shonda takes us after what’s she’s established between Charlotte and Cooper in Season 5,” she says. “I’d love to see what that looks like.”