David E. Kelley is one of the most prolific and successful TV writer/producers ever. His hits include L.A. Law, Chicago Hope, The Practice and most recently Big Little Lies. An enterprising studio could revive almost any one of his shows in this reboot-crazy TV era and potentially have a hit. Kelley himself is not interested in revisiting his past work, but he does think if any one of his shows is worth dusting off, it would have to be Ally McBeal, the Emmy-winning legal dramedy that starred Calista Flockhart and ran from 1997 to 2002.
"I do think because of the gender politics that were so part and parcel of Ally McBeal, it's become very relevant and ripe," Kelley told The Hollywood Reporter. Ally McBeal started with the title character joining the law firm Cage and Fish after leaving her previous job over sexual harassment — a topic that's dominating conversation in the #MeToo era — and the show often used cases to discuss social issues.
"So, I'd be open to the idea of Ally McBeal being done again, but I don't think it should be done by me," he continued. "If it were going to be done, it really should be done by a woman. If it's going to be new, it should be new and different."
We like the sound of that. Fox could reboot Ally McBeal for the 2020s with a dancing hot dog instead of a dancing baby and hire someone like The Catch creator Jennifer Schuur to write it. Worse ideas for reboots that have made it to series.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kelley talks about what convinced him to do another season of Big Little Lies (mostly Meryl Streep) and how he might leave TV to focus on his other job as a fish farmer. Check it out.
Ally McBeal is available to stream on Hulu.