Picket Fences

Watch Picket Fences

  • 1992
  • 4 Seasons
  • 7.8  (5,167)

Picket Fences is a legal drama series that aired on FOX from 1992 to 1996, created by David E. Kelley. Set in the fictional town of Rome, Wisconsin, the show revolves around the lives of the townspeople, particularly Sheriff Jimmy Brock (Tom Skerritt) and his family, as well as the cases they handle.

Sheriff Brock is a calm and collected lawman who tries to maintain order in the town, often dealing with bizarre and offbeat crimes. His wife, Jill (Kathy Baker), is the town doctor and a strong-willed woman who often clashes with her husband over his duties. Together they raise their two children, Kimberly (Holly Marie Combs) and Matthew (Justin Shenkarow).

The rest of the cast includes a variety of colorful and eccentric characters, such as Assistant District Attorney Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel), who has a knack for winning cases despite his unorthodox methods; Deputy Maxine Stewart (Lauren Holly), who is tough and street-smart but has a softer side; Dr. Carter Pike (Costas Mandylor), Jill's colleague who is in love with her; and Judge Henry Bone (Ray Walston), who often dispenses his own brand of justice in the courtroom.

Each episode of Picket Fences presents a different case that the characters must solve, ranging from murder and assault to more unusual crimes such as spontaneous human combustion or a man who claims to be a werewolf. The show tackles sensitive issues such as racism, homophobia, and abortion, and offers a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of these topics.

Despite dealing with serious subject matter, the show is also known for its quirky and often darkly humorous tone. The residents of Rome are portrayed as quirky and unusual, adding a touch of whimsy to the legal drama format. This unique mix of drama and comedy earned Picket Fences critical acclaim and a loyal following.

The show also boasts a strong cast, with each actor bringing depth and nuance to their respective roles. Tom Skerritt is particularly effective as Sheriff Brock, delivering a nuanced performance that captures the character's strength and vulnerability. Kathy Baker is equally strong as Jill Brock, balancing her character's intelligence and compassion with her fierce determination.

Other notable performances include Fyvush Finkel's hilarious and often scene-stealing turn as ADA Doug Wambaugh, and Lauren Holly's tough yet empathetic portrayal of Deputy Stewart. Additionally, Holly Marie Combs and Costas Mandylor bring strong supporting performances as the Brock children and Dr. Pike respectively.

Overall, Picket Fences is a well-written and skillfully crafted legal drama that pushes the boundaries of the genre. With its mix of humor, drama, and social commentary, the show stands out as a unique and memorable entry in the television landscape of the 1990s.

Picket Fences is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (88 episodes). The series first aired on September 18, 1992.

Picket Fences
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Liver Let Die
22. Liver Let Die
April 24, 1996
Brock immerses himself in a murder investigation after Dr. Joey discovers a potentially fatal growth on his liver.
To Forgive Is Divine
21. To Forgive Is Divine
April 24, 1996
An Amish rape victim refuses to press charges against her attacker.
Forget Selma
20. Forget Selma
June 26, 1996
Friends grow concerned about Wambaugh's mental state when he becomes obsessed with proving Myriam's love interest is a con artist.
Winner Takes All
19. Winner Takes All
June 19, 1996
Jill is drafted as the high school's new basketball coach. Matthew loses 200 dollars to a bookie and cannot settle the debt.
Three Weddings and a Meltdown
18. Three Weddings and a Meltdown
June 12, 1996
Wambaugh is convinced Myriam's new beau has ulterior motives.
Bye-Bye, Bey-Bey
17. Bye-Bye, Bey-Bey
April 22, 1996
A legal battle erupts when Mayor Bey grants custody of her new baby to her gay brother and his partner.
Dante's Inferno
16. Dante's Inferno
June 5, 1996
A radio shock-jock targets Max after she is appointed Rome's temporary Mayor.
15. Bottled
February 16, 1996
Jill suffers mysterious, menopause-like symptoms on the eve of Zack's thirteenth birthday.
The Z Files
14. The Z Files
February 9, 1996
Zach's buddy sends a teacher's photo over the Internet. Max dates a chat-room acquaintance.
My Romance
13. My Romance
January 26, 1996
Carter has an out-of-body experience. Judge Bone runs into an old friend he hasn't seen in over fifty years. Zack develops a crush on a gifted musician.
Snow Exit
12. Snow Exit
January 19, 1996
A huge blizzard strikes Rome, and strands Jill and Kimberly at the high school with others during Lydia's singing debut.
11. Bloodlines
January 12, 1996
After a classmate commits suicide, Matthew accompanies Brock on a bear hunt. Carter helps Kimberly overcome her squeamishness towards blood. Kenny replaces Rebecca as Laurie's Lamaze coach.
Dem Bones
10. Dem Bones
January 5, 1996
A fifty-year-old murder case is reopened after Carter identifies the remains of a German-American Bund member who was allegedly killed by a Jew.
This Little Piggy
9. This Little Piggy
December 15, 1995
Kimberly lobbies for the elimination of Rome's pig-wrestling competition.
Witness for the Prosecution
8. Witness for the Prosecution
December 8, 1995
Animal-rights activist Kimberly is arrested for a felony. A woman's medical treatment is inhibited by her daughter's religious beliefs.
Down the Tubes
7. Down the Tubes
November 3, 1995
Jill considers tubal ligation. Brock must dance the polka with the Mayor for charity. Haunted by the death of his brother, Littleton returns to Chicago.
Heart of Saturday Night
6. Heart of Saturday Night
October 27, 1995
During the course of one Saturday night, Matthew spends the evening with the gorgeous wife of the coolest guy in town; Brock and Jill's night of passion turns disastrous.
Dog Eat Dog
5. Dog Eat Dog
October 20, 1995
Controversy arises when Max shoots a man wearing a bratwurst costume. Jill grows concerned when Kimberly approaches Joey with a medical problem.
4. Bloodbrothers
October 13, 1995
Littleton's half-brother escapes from prison and seeks refuge in Rome.
Pal Joey
3. Pal Joey
October 6, 1995
A famous television physician attempts to buy Jill's practice. A Hmong woman rejects her people's martial traditions, sending a potential husband to jail.
Reap the Whirlwind
2. Reap the Whirlwind
September 29, 1995
The town braces for a tornado. Kenny's prostitute is busted in a sting operation. Wambaugh celebrates his fortieth wedding anniversary.
A Change of Season
1. A Change of Season
September 22, 1995
Kimberly decides not to pursue a legal career. Carter accidentally sets fire to his home after attempting suicide. Mayor Bey implements changes in the police force to improve community relations.
Where to Watch Picket Fences
Picket Fences is available for streaming on the FOX website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Picket Fences on demand at Amazon, Vudu and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 18, 1992
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (5,167)