<i>Picket Fences</i>

Picket Fences

American family drama television series (1992–1996)

Picket Fences is an American family drama television series about the residents of the town of Rome, Wisconsin, created and produced by David E. Kelley. The show ran from September 18, 1992, to June 26, 1996, on the CBS television network in the United States. It sometimes struggled to maintain a stable primetime audience and had fluctuating ratings, due in part to its Friday night death slot. In its first season on the air it placed 63rd in the prime-time Nielsen ratings and in its second season it moved to 61st. Nonetheless, the show won critical acclaim and was a major awards winner, winning 14 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run and now regarded as a cult classic. The show's exteriors were shot in the L.A. suburb of Monrovia, California.[2]

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Picket Fences has a total of 88 episodes and four seasons.


The series has two crossover episodes with another David E. Kelley series, Chicago Hope, one occurring in each series. In the first, on Picket Fences, Dr. Jill Brock accompanies Douglas Wambaugh to Chicago Hope Hospital over concerns of his heart. In the second, Wambaugh is back at Chicago Hope Hospital causing trouble for the doctors. Lauren Holly later joined the cast of Chicago Hope as Dr. Jeremy Hanlon and Tom Skerritt appear in a different role as a guest star.

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David E. Kelley and Chris Carter (creator of The X-Files) were talking in a parking lot on the Fox lot one day and thought it might be interesting to have Mulder and Scully visit Rome, Wisconsin for an X-Files episode. Originally, the two shows would be shot with different viewpoints  one from the X-Files perspective and the other from Picket Fences'. The official approval was never given by Fox and CBS, so the only remnants remaining of this effort are the X-Files episode "Red Museum" and the Picket Fences episode "Away in the Manger" having similar plotlines involving cows. Every reference to Picket Fences has been purged from the X-Files episode, but there still are some small details left in the Picket Fences episode referring to the happenings at The X-Files and some minor characters there.[3]


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The series was adapted in India in Hindi language and aired on StarPlus as Kehta Hai Dil from 2002 to 2005 produced by UTV Software Communications.[4] However, the Indian version in between deviated entirely from the story of Picket Fences.[5]

Home media

On June 19, 2007, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the first season of Picket Fences on DVD in Region 1. In the United States, the entire series was available to stream on Hulu from Thanksgiving 2021 to Thanksgiving 2023. On August 20, 2014, Season 1 was released in Australia. [6] Season 2 was released in Australia in December 2014.[7] Season 3 was released in Australia in March 2016.[8]

Awards and nominations

Picket Fences won fourteen Emmy Awards (including "Outstanding Drama Series" twice) and one Golden Globe Award in its four-year run. In 1997, the episode "Heart of Saturday Night" was ranked #96 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time.[9] In 2002, the character of Douglas Wambaugh was ranked 47th on TV Guide's 50 Greatest Television Characters of All Time list.[10]


  1. Kitman, Marvin (September 17, 1992). "Beyong the 'Picket Fences'". Newsday (Long Island, New York). p. 65.
  2. Abcarian, Robin (July 28, 2005). "Monrovia's Midwest mystique". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  3. "Picket Fences and The X-Files". Thom Holbrook's Crossovers & Spin Offs pages. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  4. "Bindass". The Times of India. September 26, 2002.
  5. "Special Collectors' Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide. No. June 28-July 4. 1997.

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