THE PRACTICE – THE COMPLETE SERIES (NBC 1976-77) RARE DANNY THOMAS SITCOM
Danny Thomas starred as Jules Bedford in the 1976-77 sitcom The Practice. Jules is a widower who runs his own medical practice in a middle-class Manhattan neighborhood. He can be crusty, sometimes grumpy, and somewhat absent-minded and old-school, but he is idealistic about the practice of medicine, and he has genuine concern for people, even when there is no money to be made.
Many of the comedic situations concern Jules’ relationship with his son, Dr. David Bedford (David Spielberg), who works in a much more exclusive Park Avenue practice and often clashes with his father over course of treatment for his patients. Shelley Fabares plays David’s wife Jenny, who tries her best to keep peace in the family. Rounding out the cast are Dena Dietrich as Molly Gibbons, Jules’ no-nonsense nurse with whom he shares an unspoken affection, and Didi Conn as Helen, their daffy and naive receptionist. John Byner made a few appearances in the first season as an older doctor and Mike Evans (who’d just left The Jeffersons to help produce Good Times) was a recurring figure during the second year as a young intern and friend to Jules.
The Practice was created by Steve Gordon, best known for 1981’s Arthur, and produced by Tony Thomas and Paul Junger Witt, who just suffered a flop with the infamous Lee Grant sitcom, Fay (1975-1976, NBC) but would later go on to produce powerhouse shows like Soap (1977-1981, ABC) and The Golden Girls (1985-1992, NBC).
Guest stars included Lucille Ball, Marlo Thomas, Bill Dana, Edie Adams, Marge Redmond, Victor Bruno, Titos Vandis, Vic Tayback, Matthew Laborteaux, Jayne Meadows, Art Metrano, David Huddleston, Jan Murray.