Kelley Defends ‘Boston Legal’s’ Stances

May 15, 2006  •  Post A Comment

“Boston Legal” Executive Producer David E. Kelley defended his hit series’ progressive stance on topical issues at a panel discussion Monday.

“We seem to be living in a time when dissent is very much equated with disloyalty,” Mr. Kelley said at a Museum of Television & Radio presentation in New York. “[Our] writers want to scream sometimes, and inspire some of the viewers to scream along with us.”

The ABC series has tackled topics such as the morning-after pill and assisted suicide, often from a liberal perspective. Mr. Kelley, addressing an audience that had gathered in New York during the networks’ upfront advertising sales market, said he tries to be an equal opportunity offender.

“We believe there’s something in every show for everybody — to turn off,” Mr. Kelley said at the panel discussion moderated by TelevisionWeek Managing Editor Melissa Grego. “We’re sort of stunned we’re going into year three.”

William Shatner, who plays Denny Crane on the show, said his “Boston Legal” character has become more popular than his classic role of Captain Kirk on “Star Trek.”

“The Nielsen numbers lie,” Schatner said at the discussion, which included members of the show’s staff. “We are far more popular than our Nielsen ratings. It’s the most popular thing I’ve ever done, including ‘Star Trek.'”