David E. KelleyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 5/11/18 at 1:50PM EDT
David E. Kelley thinks a woman should reboot Ally McBeal, says Meryl Streep's "delicious" character inspired more Big Little Lies
"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 tells The Hollywood Reporter of his Emmy-winning Fox series. "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. 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. And I did it: 100 hours." As for returning to Big Little Lies for a second season, Kelly says author Liane Moriarty had a "genius" idea to introduce the character played by Streep. "It's a delicious character and I felt bringing her in was both liberating and daunting," he says. "Daunting because she sets a high bar and you have to measure up, but liberating in that now the show's not going to be compared to last year. There was freedom in that."
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 1:17PM EDT
Billy Bob Thornton is in deep trouble in the Goliath Season 2 trailer
The David E. Kelley legal drama returns to Amazon on June 15.
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:00PM EDT
Steven Bochco helped TV evolve
"Modern television wouldn't exist without Steven Bochco," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "From the early 1980s onward, starting with Hill Street, Bochco pushed relentlessly, some said fruitlessly, to loosen commercial broadcast television’s restrictions on both content and style, and allow showrunners, writers, and directors to create programs as artistically free as the best titles that could be viewed in cinemas or on cable." Bochco also worked closely and helped develop some of the greatest TV minds, from David E. Kelley to David Milch to Dick Wolf. Even his most notable failure, Cop Rock -- considered to be one of the worst shows ever made -- paved the way for musical TV series from Glee to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to Flight of the Conchords. "It’s impossible to imagine modern television existing without him," says Seitz.
- Bochco was a revolutionary when network TV was ordinary -- cable TV made his best work look callow
- Bochco's big, successful swings more than made up for his misses
- How Bochco fought the FCC and brought nudity to mainstream TV with NYPD Blue
- An ode to Bochco's Murder One, the first show to track an entire case over a season
- Bochco was a "showrunner" before the term was in common usage
- Where to stream Bochco's hits: Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser are on Hulu, but L.A. Law and Cop Rock aren't available for streaming
- Watch Bochco go in-depth in 1989 Later interview with Bob Costas
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 2:55PM EDT
David E. Kelley: "My beacon, my friend" Steve Bochco gave me my first TV writing job
Kelley was a practicing attorney in 1986 when Bochco hired him to write for L.A. Law based on a legal thriller movie screenplay. Kelley and Bochco would go on to co-create Doogie Howser, M.D. “A devastating loss. For television,” Kelley said of Bochco's death. “For those who loved him and were loved by him. My beacon, my friend. The ground feels different now.”
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 10:04PM EDT
Nicole Kidman and David E. Kelley are reuniting for HBO limited series The Undoing
The Big Little Lies collaborators are reteaming for a miniseries in which Kidman will play a therapist who, in the wake of a "very public disaster," dismantles her old life and starts a new one with her young child. The project is based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known. “We’re thrilled to continue our creative relationships with both Nicole and David,” says HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “and can’t wait to bring this show to life.”
Posted Wednesday 1/24/18 at 4:39PM EST
Big Little Lies lands Meryl Streep for Season 2
The acclaimed actress will become a series regular on the HBO drama for Season 2, playing Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s character. HBO says her character will arrive in Monterey “searching for answers” while “concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren.” Streep’s last major TV stint was on HBO, where she was one of the big names on the 2003 miniseries Angels in America. Streep’s casting reunites her with The Hours co-star Nicole Kidman. ALSO: David E. Kelley said in October his dream casting goal was "adding Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep to Big Little Lies."
Posted Saturday 1/13/18 at 12:37AM EST
CBS allowing an uncensored “sh*t happens” in 1999 paved the way for this week’s “sh*thole” TV spectacle
The word “sh*thole” was all over TV on Thursday, thanks to President Trump. But as Sean O'Neal points out, there was a time when the word “sh*t” generated controversy when a broadcast network allowed its use in primetime. CBS OK’d Mark Harmon’s doctor character to say “sh*t happens” in an October 1999 episode of Chicago Hope, the David E. Kelley medical drama, citing artistic reasons. The Parents TV Council warned that allowing a broadcast network to say “sh*t” would result in other shows using the profanity. And the PTC was right. ER would eventually say “sh*t.” NYPD Blue would utter “bullsh*t.” Even Howard Stern was outraged that CBS would allow a word that the FCC would fine him for. "The producers felt strongly that the line was important for artistic truthfulness," CBS said in a statement. "We wanted to support their creative vision, but clearly this is not something that will happen on a weekly basis." Ultimately, the FCC bought CBS’ reasoning for airing the profanity.
Posted Wednesday 12/13/17 at 9:42AM EST
HBO and David E. Kelley defend Big Little Lies competing as a “Limited Series” at the Golden Globes
"We conceived a limited series and that's what we produced," Kelley said on Tuesday, the day after Big Little Lies was nominated for a leading six Golden Globe awards. "It feels more right to me to reclassify going into the future than to go back and redefine what we were. I know what we were, and that's a limited series. Not only was the idea of a second season not contemplated when we began this journey, the idea was pretty prohibitive — one that we didn't consider, quite frankly." HBO also responded to the controversy, saying in a statement: "Big Little Lies was conceived, produced, and aired as a limited series. The implication of impropriety regarding HBO’s awards submission of Big Little Lies in the Limited Series category is irresponsible and uninformed. The idea to continue the story came about only after the show aired. None of the cast or filmmakers had holdover contracts. Each deal had to be renegotiated, which is proof that no ongoing series was contemplated. Additionally, no source material beyond Liane Moriarty’s novel existed. The accusation that HBO was 'gaming the system' is baseless and undeserved."
Posted Friday 12/08/17 at 3:02PM EST
Big Little Lies is officially returning for Season 2, with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman aboard
Shailene Woodley is not confirmed to return for the seven-episode second season, but HBO says that “most of the cast is expected to return, and negotiations are underway.” HBO programming president Casey Bloys added: “I’m excited to announce the return of Big Little Lies. David Kelley wrote beautiful scripts and Reese and Nicole were, once again, a force to be reckoned with, reuniting the cast and recruiting the talented Andrea Arnold to direct. We look forward to working with this amazing group of artists.”
Posted Tuesday 11/28/17 at 2:15AM EST
Goliath co-creator: “Our show is the most binged show in the history of Amazon”
Amazon confirmed showrunner Jonathan Shapiro’s statement, which he made recently at a speech at the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association’s Techtainment 3.0 conference in Los Angeles. Goliath, said Amazon, was “the top binged first season of a U.S.-produced Amazon Original Series ever over its first 10 days. No other season one had a higher season completion rate through ten days.”
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 9:32PM EST
Adrianne Palicki on her failed Wonder Woman pilot: “We were a year or two too soon”
“It was right before the main pop of Marvel movies and television series,” The Orville star says of the 2011 NBC pilot from David E. Kelley. “The movies (had started coming) out, but it wasn’t like (today, where) that’s what makes money now — that’s what people want to see. It was a little too soon, it was a little early.”
Posted Friday 10/27/17 at 10:04PM EDT
David E. Kelley and Jill Soloway react to the Amazon Studios management shakeup
The respective creators of Amazon’s Goliath and Transparent are weighing in after a week that saw the loss of several key Amazon programming executives. “It can only be good for Amazon. It was not well-run,” says Kelley, who adds: "I think a good first step is getting grown-ups in the entertainment division because I think that they were in over their heads.” Soloway, for her part, says: “It’s a hard time. It's in a painful time. It’s a time of reckoning for all studios and for all businesses really. It's happening in the art world."
Posted Tuesday 10/10/17 at 5:55PM EDT
Audience Network renews Mr. Mercedes for a second season
Season 2 of the David E. Kelley-produced drama will be based on Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy.
Posted Friday 10/06/17 at 4:37PM EDT
Amazon is struggling to gain a TV foothold: It’s “a bit of a gong show,” says David E. Kelley
Despite acclaimed series like Transparent, Amazon is “struggling to define a new strategy,” according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper quotes Kelley, whose HBO series Big Little Lies Amazon wasn’t even interested in bidding on, as describing the studio as "a bit of a gong show." And The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, whose Amazon show Mad Dogs was canceled, described the company as being entirely in "chaos” and not “artist friendly.” There is also the allegation that the top executives at Amazon Studios are using their positions to get work for their significant others. Still, Amazon has recently signed top TV talent, including Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Gilmore Girls’ Any Sherman-Palladino.
Posted Friday 9/08/17 at 2:25PM EDT
Ally McBeal, a show well ahead of its time, turns 20
Feminism, toxic masculinity, gender identity, diversity — all of today’s hot topics were explored on Fox’s groundbreaking David E. Kelley legal dramedy that debuted on Sept. 8, 1997. “In almost all ways, Ally McBeal was ahead of its time: stylistically, thematically and in what we would now call the ‘diversity’ of its cast and subjects,” says Hannah Jane Parkinson. “…This was a show that had black characters and Asian-American characters whose presence had nothing to do with the fact that they were black or Asian-American, as is too often the case. It had a genderless bathroom and featured two trans characters: the first, Stephanie, appearing in a recurring role in the first season (1997) and the next, Cindy, in 2000. The writers didn’t shy away from holding up a mirror to society’s structures and discriminations through its many case plots.”
PLUS: David E. Kelley remembers being “caught off guard” by the 1998 Time cover asking “Is Feminism Dead?,” Ally McBeal was an anomaly — defined by the talk it stirred up as much as what happened in its own heightened reality, and Ally McBeal would’ve failed miserably had the Bechdel test been around back then.