Picket Fences

CBS (ended 1996)
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360 votes
  • show Description
  • 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 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 humans and 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 classic show and now with the first season recently released on DVD you can enjoy it all over again!moreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 22

    Three Weddings and a Meltdown

    Aired 4/24/96

  • S 4 : Ep 21

    Bye-Bye, Bey-Bey

    Aired 4/24/96

  • S 4 : Ep 20

    Liver Let Die

    Aired 6/26/96

  • S 4 : Ep 19

    To Forgive is Divine

    Aired 6/19/96

  • S 4 : Ep 18

    Forget Selma

    Aired 6/12/96

  • Cast & Crew
  • Ray Walston

    Judge Henry Bone [ episodes 23 - 88, recurring previously ]

  • Tom Skerritt

    Sheriff Jimmy Brock

  • Don Cheadle

    DA John Littleton [ episodes 45 - 73, recurring previously ]

  • Kathy Baker

    Dr. Jill Brock

  • Adam Wylie

    Zachary Brock

  • Photos (1)
  • Top Contributor
  • farscapefanuk

    User Score: 218


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (44)

    • Kenny: 1, 2, 5...Lousy at Math, good at guns. (after he shoots a murderer who using Max as a hostage/shield)

    • Jimmy (to Kimberly): You are grounded forever. And Christmas is cancelled! ... Forever! Maxine: Help me slide over to my desk. Ginny (suspicious): Why? Maxine: Because I've got a hostage negotiation handbook right by my phone. Ginny: Why didn't you read it before? Lydia: You kids haven't put up your stockings yet. Zach: What's the point? Kenny shot Santa. He's not coming. Kenny: That was a fake one. I just saw the real one up in the sky.

    • Peter LeBeck: He's just looking for heroes because his father embarrasses him. Jill Brock Yes, but, (pause) your son tried to incorporate you into that hero image. He didn't become the Terminator. He didn't become Batman. (sigh) He became Frog Man.

    • Douglas Wambaugh: Douglas Wambough has trapped you. (While Maxine is on the stand)

    • Douglas Wambaugh: I would like to call the arresting officer Maxine Stewart to the stand. The District Attorney: Why? Douglas Wambaugh: You're asking me why? The District Attorney: I'm asking you why. Douglas Wambaugh: I'll tell you why. Judge Henry Bone: I don't care why. If he wants to examine her, he can.

    • Maxine: (speaking into a megaphone) Do not be alarmed people. It was not a bomb, just Frog Man. Please disperse. Jimmy: Maxine ... (shaking head) no.

    • Jill Brock: What if you don't look at me the same? Jimmy Brock: Oh honey, don't worry about that. (hugs Jill) I'll just look at other women.

    • Douglas Wambaugh: When you were going through the change, did you ever think of killing me. Miriam Wambaugh: In 40 years of marriage, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about killing you.

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    Notes (80)

    • Dabbs Greer is better known for his role in "Little House on the Prairie" as Rev.Robert Alden.

    • This is the first episode of Picket Fences.

    • Originally made and aired as a two-hour episode, split into two parts for future broadcasts.

    • This is Mark B. Perry's first time writing on Picket Fences.

    • This is the first episode to only be co-written by David E. Kelley.

    • Although Holly Marie Combs and Adam Wylie are featured in the opening credits, they do not appear in this episode.

    • This was one of two episodes submitted for Emmy consideration.

    • Although featured in the opening credits, Holly Marie Combs does not appear in this episode.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (15)

    • Goof: Playing Monopoly, Jill moves her playing piece backwards around the board (counter clockwise).

    • Jimmy:: We will need an official pronouncement. Carter: She ran him over with a steamroller?

    • It is said in this episode to be Jimmy and Jill's 15th wedding anniversary. However, it was previously stated that that Kimberly was 4 when Jimmy and Jill got married (and that they'd began affair when she was 2 and he was seperated although not legally from Lydia)Since Kimberly is only 16 that would mean they had been married 12 years not 15.

    • Maxine's personal ad: Gorgeous red head, single, 27. Poetry lover seeks compatible compassionate man with buns of steel. - Lola

    • Jill: It is revealed she was third in her class at medical school and is board certified in general surgery.

    • Case #52575: The docket number for Maxine Stewart vs. the town of Rome, Wisconsin.

    • Judge Bone says the alleged male victim of rape will be treated just the same as any female victim, then orders a medical opinion on whether it'possible to rape a male. He would never check about the possibility of raping a female.

    • Leigh Taylor-Young won an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work in this episode

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (33)

    • Carter: This was no boating accident... After examining the murder victim Carter Pike quotes Hooper's famous observation from the movie Jaws (1975).

    • The episode is a constant reference to The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939). One of David. E. Kelley┬┤s favorite movies

    • Kenny: The elephant's fallen and he can't get up. Kenny inadvertantly quotes the popular catchphrase originated on TV commercials for LifeCall that started running in 1987. The ad featured an elderly woman with a walker fallen on the ground and crying "I've fallen and I can't get up". LifeCall offered an emergency aid service that could be alerted by a pendant alarm worn around the client's neck.

    • New Math Jimmy and Mr. Pankow sing the song New Math by musical satirist Tom Lehrer. It parodies the stated simplicity of the New Math being introduced into American schools. The song debuted on American version of That Was the Week That Was (1962-1963), a television show that poked fun at current events.

    • Mr Dreeb Comes To Town "Mr Deeds Goes To Town" is a 1936 film directed by Frank Capra.

    • The Blues Brothers Although they never actually use the name Matthew and Zach clearly dress up as Jake and Elwood Blues for their Halloween costumes, even using their catchphrase "We're on a mission from God".

    • My Favorite Martian Judge Bone shows up at Carter's Halloween party wearing anttennae on his head. This is a reference to Ray Walston's role as Uncle Martin in the Tv show My Favorite Martian (1963-1966) where his character would often sprout anttennae in order to use his alien powers.

    • Remembering Rosemary Remembering Marilyn was a documentry on the life and career of Marilyn Monroe.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (9)
  • Great dramedy

    By 90sTVlover, Mar 10, 2012

  • Strange But Awesome

    By xxxp3xxx, Sep 02, 2007

  • what a place picket fences.

    By seaqueastdsv, Aug 08, 2007

  • awesome

    By CAPNDEL, Jul 06, 2006

  • The multiple Emmy winner took on everything from the ridiculous to the the serious. Focusing on a small town sheriff and his doctor wife, the show focused on small town crisis that were microcosms of the country as a whole.

    By numbthumb, Feb 02, 2006