David E. Kelley talks life after 'Boston Legal'

Davidekelly_l
Once Boston Legal ends its run with a Dec. 8 series finale, Emmy-winning writer-producer David E. Kelley won’t have a series on TV for the first time in at least two decades. But fortunately, there’s some good news for fans of his irreverent dramedies: NBC recently scooped up his latest script—about an aging lawyer and his adult daughter who work together at a Chicago firm—for a potential Fall ’09 premiere.

“It’ll feature a cauldron of eccentric characters,” Kelley tells EW. “It’s much more of a comedy than some of my other shows. Some of the [touches] will remind you of Boston Legal and Ally McBeal, but it won’t be an issue- or case-driven show. It’s about the comedic relationship.” As is the case with most, if not all of his creations, the law “remains the best vehicle” for Kelley to explore his characters. In other words, don’t expect Kelley to pull a Tim Kring and suddenly churn out another Heroes. “[The law] is a natural for me,” Kelley says. “It’s society’s way of legislating morality. It’s a franchise that causes people to unearth their ideas and beliefs, and it’s such a natural spring board to tell stories about characters.

addCredit(“Mathew Imaging/WireImage”)

Meanwhile, Kelley just turned in the final script for Legal,
a series he never thought would make it past a couple seasons, much
less five. So what’s the story? Could rule-breaker Alan Shore (James
Spader
) finally lose his job?

“Yes…and no,” says Kelley. “That’s not a big part [of the ending].
It’s a small com­ponent that pays off a little bit in the last couple
of episodes.” And what about ongoing hints that Denny’s (William
Shatner
) mad cow disease could turn into a full-blown battle with
Alzheimer’s? “We will get into it a little bit, but whether we resolve
it, I’m not telling,” adds Kelley, who says this series-ender is one of
the very few he’s written in his career. (He wasn’t there for the last
bows of L.A. Law, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, and Boston Public, and he never felt like The Practice ended because it spun into Legal.)

“This one feels like a finale,” Kelley promises. “There are no
nuclear devices that blow up—but if executed properly, this one could
be my favorite. It will be satisfying.”

More on Boston Legal:

Ausiello: Another Boston Legal vet returns

DVD review: Boston Legal season 1

Boston Legal renewed for fifth season

We love 1980s James Spader

Meanwhile, Kelley just turned in the final script for Legal,a series he never thought would make it past a couple seasons, muchless five. So what’s the story? Could rule-breaker Alan Shore (JamesSpader) finally lose his job?

“Yes…and no,” says Kelley. “That’s not a big part [of the ending].It’s a small com­ponent that pays off a little bit in the last coupleof episodes.” And what about ongoing hints that Denny’s (WilliamShatner) mad cow disease could turn into a full-blown battle withAlzheimer’s? “We will get into it a little bit, but whether we resolveit, I’m not telling,” adds Kelley, who says this series-ender is one ofthe very few he’s written in his career. (He wasn’t there for the lastbows of L.A. Law, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, and Boston Public, and he never felt like The Practice ended because it spun into Legal.)

“This one feels like a finale,” Kelley promises. “There are nonuclear devices that blow up—but if executed properly, this one couldbe my favorite. It will be satisfying.”

More on Boston Legal:
Ausiello: Another Boston Legal vet returns
DVD review: Boston Legal season 1
Boston Legal renewed for fifth season
We love 1980s James Spader

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Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • Brian

    After all the talk between Alan and Denny about would Alan let Denny live if he loses all his faculties, I’m a little worried the finale will feature a mercy killing of Denny.

  • jake

    I find it strange that ABC would cancel boston legal with all the critical acclaim it is still getting.

  • Ian

    BL can’t be cheap, not with James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen commanding huge salaries on top of the top-tier guest actors the show regularly attracts. At some point it clearly wasn’t worth keeping past its sell-by date.
    I for one am a bit disappointed DEK isn’t still with “Life On Mars,” as that show deserves his ear for dialogue.

  • Jen

    I doubt they’ll kill Denny off in the finale, but I do hope that Alan and Denny will don the flamingo costumes one last time. PLEASE???? *sigh* I love this show SO much. Why, David E. Kelley? Why, ABC?? WHY?????

  • Snsetblaze

    I am bummed that this series is ending. I wonder if the things they mentioned in the episodes this season are hints at what is going to happen. There have been mentions that the firm is in financial trouble; there have been mentions that there have been complaints with the state bar association. Maybe the branch office will close and attorneys have the option of being transferred to the NY office. Denny and Alan decide to start their own firm.

  • 2cents

    It HAS to end with Denny and Alan on a balcony.
    There are so many ways this could end. Have no idea how. But the balcony scene is a must.
    Unless Alan (or Denny) is there alone- but that seems too dismal.
    It needs to leave us with a smile on our face.
    Great Show.

  • tom

    they should get married! it’s legal in mass. isn’t it?

  • Connie

    David E. Kelley helped win this election. Thanks for keeping that hope alive every week. It was the only show that I never missed.

  • Leslie Allen

    David E. Kelley is a genius!! This is the best show on TV. I don’t understand why it is the last season?
    I love that the writing is so smart, the topics and issues so poignant and of today AND that it is so entertaining.
    Certainly there are more issues to explore. The cast is superb!!! esp. Spader and Shatner. Bergan and Larroquette are great!!
    I feel as though I have learned something and have been so entertained at the same time. There is no show that can compare.
    Please keep it going or with your new show in ’09. It provides such great insights for those of us who have a brain.
    I can’t say enough about David E. Kelley’s genius!!!!!

  • charlie

    please keep your political views to yourself, I used to like Boston Legal, the shows around the elction were pathetic , I will never watch it again!!!!!! I will tell everyone I know to ban it!!!!!!!!!

  • mary ann thomas

    thank you david kelly. you have portrayed a beautiful women in her 60’s as a sex object: an offish but brilliant male at the pinacle of his career but with memory failing:
    and a shining star in the legal profession with flaws of the
    every man. please don’t stop your take on life with the last
    season of boston legal. we all need more david kelly.

  • Catalina

    Denny and Alan and the rest of the superb characters of Boston Legal are larger than life and will continue to be our friends long after the show passes into reruns – Thanks for putting this show on DVD – and now how about the PRACTICE Season 8? I’m eagerly looking forward to your new projects!

  • Leigh Hislop

    I am a 54 year old ordained minister and I LOVE Boston Legal. David Kelley’s ability to provoke thought and entertain, to make me laugh and cry and present both sides of many issues, I find extraordinary. I would give my eye teeth to meet him and just talk! Kelley’s compassion and insight into human beings is amazing.

  • beverly johnson

    why is my favorite program being taken off the air and replaced with that stupid program. WHY!!!!! Don’t understand. Please explain.

  • nougat

    Boston Legal is my favourite show – is there no hope of a spin-off?????
    do these comments ever reach those who could make things happen??

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