ABC Seeks to Slash 'Practice' Price

updated 01/09/2003 at 12:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/2003 12:48PM

Could Dylan McDermott, Michael Badalucco, Kelli Williams and Camryn Manheim be facing a pay cut?

According to Variety, ABC hopes to bring back producer David E. Kelley's Emmy-winning series "The Practice" next fall for a seventh season -- but before it does, the show's bottom line needs to be reduced.

At the moment, each episode of the hit legal series costs ABC more than $6 million to air. And while the show was one of the few ABC programs to win its Sunday time slot consistently last season, ABC executives aren't convinced the price is worth it.

"The Practice" ranks about No. 30 this season, averaging 11.8 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings, down from 12.9 million viewers last season.

To make matters worse, ABC has decided to move "The Practice" to Monday nights, which could jeopardize its Nielsen standing.

The network and Kelley are not commenting on the matter, the Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the Waterville, Maine-born Kelley, 46, will hark back to his New England roots with a new, as-yet-untitled family drama series for CBS set in a small New Hampshire town.

The show will center on three brothers, whose ages range from late 30s to late 40s, in the fictional hamlet of Poland, N.H., where one is a cop and another is mayor. Wives and children will also figure into the tale.

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