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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 18, 1992
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Picket Fences Image
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: Kathy Baker, Adam Wylie, Lauren Holly
  • Summary: From award winning producer David E. Kelley ("Ally McBeal", "The Practice" and "Boston Legal") comes Picket Fences, a story of a small town sherrif trying to maintain the town & his family.Sherrif James Brock (Tom Skerrit) is trying to maintain the small town of Rome, Wisconin. His wife JillFrom award winning producer David E. Kelley ("Ally McBeal", "The Practice" and "Boston Legal") comes Picket Fences, a story of a small town sherrif trying to maintain the town & his family.Sherrif James Brock (Tom Skerrit) is trying to maintain the small town of Rome, Wisconin. His wife Jill (Kathy Baker) is the doctor of the town, daughter Kimberley (Holly Marie Combs), from a previous marriage of Jimmy, is the level headed student growing up in Rome. Jimmy and Jill have two other children, Matthew (Justin Shenkarow) and Zach (Adam Wylie).Trying his best to keep the town in order, Judge Henry Bone (Ray Walston) rules the court room and while he doesn't always stick to the law, he does what is best for the town. Making Judge Bone's job harder is lawer Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel), a friend of Judge Bone but an enemy in the court room. Wambaugh goes to extreme lengths to win the case, but he is after all a character!Also around in the town of Rome are D.A John Littelon (Don Cheadle), a straight man for the antics of Wambaugh, the strange Medical Examinor Carter Pike (Kelly Connel) and deputy's Max and Kenny an on & off couple.The town of Rome never ran smoothly though, with a revolving door of mayors along with cows giving birth to humansand an array of people found dead in freezers.While the show was adored by critics, it never quite found great ratings on CBS and was cancelled after 4 seasons. Creator David E. Kelley left his post as Executive Producer after season 3, which brought a different style of show during season 4 - returning only to write 2 stand out episodes that year. Some have suggested this is why the show met its demise when Kelley left. Also the show does reach a fitting conclusion but it comes rather rushed as it was believed the show would be coming back for season 5. Picket Fences remains a class show and now with the first season recently released on DVD you can enjoy it all over again! Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    Jul 12, 2013
    100
    With the mix of bizarre cases and believably goofy characters, I found already I never wanted the show to end. It's great stuff working on three levels at once. [17 Sep 1992]
  2. Reviewed by: Rick Kogan
    Jun 18, 2013
    90
    Although some may find this creation of David E. Kelley, the wizard behind "L.A. Law," too weird, I think it's wonderful. [18 Sept 1992, p.1]
  3. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Jun 19, 2013
    80
    A rather bent sense of humor -- woven into a nice little whodunit -- is what lifts the flawed-but-engaging premiere of Picket Fences above the ordinary, raising expectations for the future. [18 Sept 1992, p.F1]
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 10, 2013
    50
    Picket Fences clearly aims to be a kinder, gentler [Twin] Peaks, but the goosey, paradoxical mood for which it strives — heartwarming creepiness — is, at this point, more of a turnoff than a turn-on.
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    Often engaging, inventive, well acted and wickedly funny, Picket Fences keeps shooting itself in the foot with tastelessness disguised as daring. Irritating as it may frequently be, however, Picket Fences also seems the new fall drama most likely to become habit-forming. You may love it, you may hate it, but you're liable to be hooked. [18 Sept 1992, p.D1]
  6. Reviewed by: Laurence Vittes
    Jun 18, 2013
    50
    Unfortunately, Skerritt sleepwalks through most of the show, Baker allows her bemused mom role to settle into an assembly-line dog trot, and the Brock children take precocity to a new level of annoyance. [18 Sept 1992]
  7. Reviewed by: Greg Dawson
    Jun 19, 2013
    20
    This is the most loathsome, repugnantly ugly piece of television I've seen in a long time - cynical, cheap, tawdry, pretentious and manipulative. [18 Sept 1992, p.E1]

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 7, 2011
    8
    This Is Honestly A Really Good Show! But In Some Points It Does Seem Like The Same Thing Over & Over And I Think That's Why The Series WentThis Is Honestly A Really Good Show! But In Some Points It Does Seem Like The Same Thing Over & Over And I Think That's Why The Series Went Off The Air So Quickly..
    The Writing At Some Points Seems Super Creative, But Sometimes It's Like "What The Heck"!!
    The Acting Is Great!!
    I Think The Show Shouldn't Of Stayed On Longer Than 4 Seasons.. Those 4 Seasons Were Good Years!
    Overall The Score Is 8!
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