David E. Kelley has endorsed the recently announced L.A. Law reboot, but ruled out re-uniting with series co-creator Steven Bochco to write for the new iteration of the legal drama.
As TVWise previously reported, the reboot is being developed by Steven Bochco and original series writer Billy Finkelstein. The idea to reboot L.A. Law was in fact Finkelstein’s and he had to convince Bochco that, owing to new laws that have developed in the past three decades, it would be substantially different from the original. 20th Century Fox Television is the studio. There is no network attached as yet.
Speaking at the recent Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour for his new Amazon Studios legal drama Goliath, Kelley said: “I think it’s a great idea. I’m told Billy Finkelstein is coming back to write it and take charge of it. I think he’s a brilliant writer, so I’ll be watching”, he said. “[But] it’s not something I would want to go back and do again myself, because I’ve done it. But I think it’s actually a good idea. It was a great show in it’s time.”
While David E. Kelley’s name has become synonymous with a plethora of popular and critically acclaimed legal series, from the quirky (Ally McBeal and Boston Legal) to the more serious (The Practice and now Goliath), it was in fact Steven Bochco and L.A. Law that kick-started his career and eventually led to him becoming a super-producer in the 1990s.
It was in 1980s, when Kelley was still a practicing attorney, that he penned his first screenplay. It was that script, From The Hip, that caught the eye of Steven Bochco who brought him onto the fledgling L.A. Law in 1986 as a story editor. Thanks to his talent, Kelley’s prominence on the production quickly rose and he eventually succeeded Bochco as showrunner and would win two Emmys for Outsanding Writing for a Drama Series. He also shares a further two such Emmy Awards with Finkelstein in the same category.
Around that same time he co-created Doogie Howser with Bochco and after exiting L.A. Law in 1991 launched David E. Kelley Production, based out of 20th Century Fox Television. It was through that company that he would go on to create and executive produce some of his better known works such as Picket Fences, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public and Boston Legal. In 2008 he left Fox and inked a new deal with Warner Bros. Television; that 8 figure pact was short-lived, however, and resulted in only one series: the NBC dramedy Harry’s Law.