Boston Legal


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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About

From Wikipedia:

Boston Legal is an American legal drama-comedy (dramedy) created by David E. Kelley, which originally ran on ABC from October 3, 2004 to December 8, 2008. A spin-off of the long-running series The Practice, Boston Legal followed the personal and professional exploits of a group of attorneys working at the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. In its five-year run, it was nominated for 25 Emmy Awards, winning seven times.

Before the show's premiere, it had a working title of Fleet Street, an allusion to the real street in Boston where the fictitious Crane, Poole & Schmidt had its offices. The working title was later modified to The Practice: Fleet Street, but this title was dropped in favor of Boston Legal before the show premiered. The real building shown as the law office is located at 500 Boylston Street, 12 minutes away from Fleet Street.

The American producers of the series also hired British writer Sir John Mortimer (creator of the UK legal series Rumpole of the Bailey) as a consultant for Boston Legal.

Premise: The Practice

Most of the final episodes of The Practice were focused on introducing the new characters of Crane, Poole & Schmidt in preparation for Boston Legal's launch. Thus, the story of Boston Legal can be said to begin with the episode of The Practice in which Eugene Young and Jimmy Berluti of Young, Frutt & Berluti decided to fire Alan Shore without consulting Ellenor Frutt, beginning a story arc of several episodes. They give Alan a severance package of only fifteen thousand dollars, even though Alan has brought in over nine million dollars of revenue to the firm. Tara Wilson gets fired for her loyalty to Alan, and Alan goes to Crane, Poole & Schmidt to represent him in the matter, thinking he has a claim under Massachusetts law to take over Young, Frutt & Berluti. Denny Crane, senior and founding partner of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, takes an interest, helping develop the 'case'; even arguing at the resulting trial, cross-examining Young. During this period, Ellenor also has a run-in with Hannah Rose (Rebecca De Mornay), a partner at Crane, Poole & Schmidt, whom Ellenor ends up seriously injuring when they fight over Hannah's condescending remarks to Ellenor. The character of Hannah Rose was dropped prior to the Boston Legal pilot's being filmed.

The jury awards Alan the millions of dollars of revenue he brought in to Young, Frutt & Berluti but does not order the firm to rehire him, so Denny hires Alan at his firm. After Young is appointed a judge, his first case (in the final episode of The Practice) happens to be with Alan for the defense, making Young wonder if Alan judge-shopped (this opened the door for Steve Harris to guest-star on Boston Legal as a judge, although in the end no starring Practice characters made any guest appearances on Boston Legal), though many actors and actresses who guest-starred in The Practice have contributed to Boston Legal, taking on roles of a different character. Examples include Rene Auberjonois, John Larroquette and Christian Clemenson. One interesting fact is that Anthony Heald, who guest-starred in both shows, took on the characters of Judge Harvey Cooper in Boston Legal and of Judge Wallace Cooper in The Practice, although both are considered the same character.

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Highlights
David E. Kelley on James Spader joining the cast during the final season of The Practice and spinning off Boston Legal
02:59
David E. Kelley on having a strong point of view on issues on Boston Legal
03:54
Shelley Berman on his Boston Legal character and his line "no more jibber jabber"
00:55
Who talked about this show

Shelley Berman

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Shelley Berman on how he came to work on Boston Legal as a judge; on the cast of the show
02:42
Shelley Berman on his Boston Legal character and his line "no more jibber jabber"
00:55

Betty White with Emerson College

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Betty White on playing "Catherine Piper" on Boston Legal
01:38
Betty White on working with William Shatner as "Denny Crane" on Boston Legal
01:58

David E. Kelley

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David E. Kelley on James Spader joining the cast during the final season of The Practice and spinning off Boston Legal
02:59
David E. Kelley on having a strong point of view on issues on Boston Legal
03:54
David E. Kelley on why Boston Legal came to an end
01:49
David E. Kelley on favorite episodes or issues on Boston Legal - the finale
00:48

William Shatner

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William Shatner on being cast in the role of "Denny Crane" on The Practice for producer David E. Kelley, and on the character moving to the series Boston Legal
04:41
William Shatner on his input into the character of "Denny Crane" when he moved over to Boston Legal, and on how he played him
06:50
William Shatner on what made Boston Legal different from other legal shows, and on what was unique about the character of "Denny Crane"
04:13
William Shatner on his Boston Legal character "Denny Crane's" approach to being a lawyer, and on his ego
05:30
William Shatner on the development of his character "Denny Crane" on Boston Legal, and on the character's relationship with women
03:24
William Shatner on his Boston Legal character "Denny Crane's" politics and fascination with guns
04:06
William Shatner on his Boston Legal character "Denny Crane's" having Alzheimer's
03:38
William Shatner on "Denny Crane's" relationship with "Alan Shore" played by James Spader on Boston Legal, and on working with Spader, Candice Bergen, and the rest of the cast of the show
09:45
William Shatner on the end of Boston Legal and "Denny Crane"
00:49

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