With a mostly offhand remark, ABC chairman Lloyd Braun has set off speculation that the network is considering a spin-off of its long-running series “The Practice.”

Talking with reporters Tuesday to discuss ABC’s performance in the February sweep period, Braun said that while no decision has been made on whether the show will return next season, the network is in “active discussions” with “Practice” creator David E. Kelley about another series.

The way Braun describes the show makes it sound like a spin-off: “I can tell you we’re in active discussions with David Kelley about another show that will share some of the same blood with “The Practice,”‘ he says.

He declines to elaborate, saying “We’re not prepared to get into too many details yet because (the concept) is still going through that brain of David Kelley’s.”

Kelley and Jason Katims, who have worked together on Fox’s “Boston Public,” are also developing a separate pilot for ABC, a family drama about three sisters who run a wedding-planning business.

“The Practice” hasn’t fully recovered from its disastrous move to Monday nights for a portion of last season. Although the show is back in its Sunday home this season, it’s drawing just under 9 million viewers a week this season, down from its average of 9.6 million last year.


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