Magnum P.I. himself, Tom Selleck, will guest-star on the Feb. 21 episode of ABC's Boston Legal. In a role written for him by series creator David E. Kelley, Selleck will play Ivan Tiggs, the eccentric and cocky ex-husband of Candice Bergen's Shirley Schmidt, whom he asks to be the best man at his wedding to Monica Geller. Oops, sorry. [Sigh] I miss Friends.
Question: You are the most hypocritical so-called television critic I have ever read. Your recent remark about Boston Legal straining for cheap shock effect is totally laughable when you practically worship shows that are completely built on cheap shock effect, like Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives. If you took the cheap shock effect out of those two shows, you would be left with about 10 minutes of show each week. Is Boston Legal over the top? Of course, but it is not meant to be a serious legal drama that shows us the inner workings of the American judicial system. It is a farcical show about a group of zany lawyers, but for some reason it isn't allowed the leeway and suspension of disbelief you seem to afford all of the completely unrealistic and over-the-top shows that you rave about on a weekly basis.
Answer: And some people wonder why this column sometimes gets defensive. Perhaps a more charitable word for "hypocritical" would be "inconsistent," which at least makes sense given
Question: Hi. Can you tell me who the blonde singer was on Ally McBeal? I have tried searching the Web and can find nothing. I love her voice and would like to learn more about her. Thank you.
Answer: That's singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard doing cover versions of such pop classics as "Someday We'll Be Together," "Tears on My Pillow," "Fire," "This Magic Moment," "It's So Easy" and a whole truckload of others on the show. A former backup singer for Jackson Browne, the New York native struggled to make a name in the biz before Ally creator David E. Kelley, a fan, brought her in to provide musical backup for the show, giving her career a big-time boost.
If you liked her work on the series, there are three best-selling compilations available: Songs from Ally McBeal, Heart and Soul: New Songs from Ally McBeal and Ally McBe
The Law Firm
Once upon a time, executive producer David E. Kelley pronounced reality TV "junk," and was understandably miffed that it was drawing eyeballs away from his shows like Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Public and Boston Legal. But the onetime lawyer would like to retract that statement now that he's the big name behind The Law Firm (premiering Thursday at 9 pm/ET), NBC's contest in which real litigators compete for a $250,000 cash prize. How does Kelley explain his change of heart?"Some reality television I quite like — the first one being American Idol — but most of the fare I felt disrespected the medium and... degraded its contestants," Kelley explains. "This particular series
They say there's no such thing as bad publicity — and apparently, "they" are ABC execs. In a head-scratcher of a move, the network has ordered Boston Legal creator David E. Kelley to remove all references to Fox News Channel from an upcoming episode about, ironically, the First Amendment.
In the original script for the March 13 installment, a high-school principal — played by Chi McBride
, reprising his role from Kelley's late Fox drama Boston Public
— courts trouble when he refuses to allow Fox News to be broadcast on his campus' internal televisions. But ABC demanded that Kelley excise any mention of the network. "I guess they didn't want to give the competition free publicity," says an insider. As a result, the news outlet will remain nameless.
This can't be sitting well with Kelley, who isn't accustomed to being told what to do. O