David E. Kelley: ABC Shunned Boston Legal; "Satisfied" with Series Run
James Spader and William Shatner, Boston Legal
Boston Legal closed its doors for the final time Monday night, ending a five-year run and a two-decade-old era in the process. With its two-hour bow, Legal's goodbye means it'll be the first time in 22 years that television is without a topical David E. Kelley program on air.
But it didn't have to end this way.
"ABC didn't want us back," Kelley told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's as simple as that. They didn't even want us back for this year at all. We had to fight to get back on with 13. It's not a product they care to market."
Even though it was developed as a spinoff of Kelley's critically acclaimed The Practice, Legal got the bastard child treatment from the Alphabet from the very beginning, Kelley felt. "Five years into the show, if anyone has ever seen the show at ABC, they've yet to bring it to my attention," he said.
The apathy stems from Legal's production studio, 20th Century Fox Television — which means ABC does not own the series, giving it more reason to push it off to the side and focus on their own development slate.
Though never a ratings hit, Legal did nab five Emmys, was the stomping ground of over-50 well-known actors and actresses, made more meta-references than you can count, and created a character in and of itself out of a balcony.
And while Kelley would love to have gone for Season 6, he is not bitter at having his Alan Shore-Denny Crane idiosyncratic love affair of sorts cut short.
"I feel satisfied we had run a good course," he said.
What did you think of Legal's series finale? Should ABC have renewed it for another year? What were your favorite moments from the show?