David E. Kelley Legal Series Headed to NBC

Oct 15, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBC is back in business with David E. Kelley, landing the prolific writer-producer’s first project under his new deal at Warner Bros. Television.
The network has made a series commitment to Mr. Kelley’s concept, a one-hour legal-themed series about a father and daughter who are both lawyers, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. The series will have a strong comedic bent.

Mr. Kelley first rose to prominence as a writer-producer on the 1980s NBC legal hit “L.A. Law,” which was created by Steven Bochco. “Law” was one of the tentpoles of the Peacock’s then-blockbuster Thursday lineup, which at the time included series such as “The Cosby Show” and “Cheers.”
NBC will have a big hole in its Thursday night lineup next fall, with “ER” scheduled to end its long run on the network next spring. Mr. Kelley’s series would have to be considered a strong contender for the time slot, though NBC obviously won’t make any final decisions about scheduling until next spring.
The new NBC legal project is being developed as Mr. Kelley wraps production on his current ABC legal dramedy, “Boston Legal.”
Mr. Kelley’s representatives at the Endeavor Agency have been quietly talking up the new project since around the time of last month’s Emmys, signaling to networks that the writer was working on a new concept. Several networks expressed strong interest in the series, but NBC ulimately stepped up to land the project.
Mr. Kelley signed a multiyear deal with Warner Bros. in May, ending a 22-year relationship with 20th Century Fox TV.
The writer-producer has created a slew of long-running series, including “Doogie Howser, M.D.” (with Mr. Bochco), “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Public” and “The Practice.”


  1. This show idea was pretty cool when Alicia Silverstone and Ryan O’Neil tried it on NBC in Miss Match.

  2. What a blessing that NBC no longer holds an upfront, as we can avoid a Zucker-like gushing by Silverman over this boring concept.
    But it won’t prevent NBC execs from circling the wagons, sporting fake grins & excitement – like they did for months with Sorkin’s “Studio 60”, a show that sucked on paper and a pilot that was hardly better.
    If I’m NBC’s “dolt du jour”, I’d probably greenlight even a burp from Sorkin. But really, this is a floundering network and developing so tired a concept is flat out embarrassing.
    Thankfully, when this show sinks, we can just blame the lack of viewers on video games and online content.

  3. Kelley, Sorkin, same fare, different author.

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