It looks like ABC’s Boston Legal will be returning this fall. Though the drama has a devout audience, its future was up in the air because of another David E. Kelley series.
Kelley owns the U.S. rights to Life on Mars, a BBC series which follows a 21st Century detective who finds himself thrown back to the 1970s. Kelley has been developing an American version of the show since 2006 when ABC committed to the pilot. He was serving as scriptwriter and executive producer but has recently decided that he wants to bow out. ABC wants to give the Mars series a greenlight but apparently needed to negotiate a new deal with Kelley. Legal was caught in the middle of those negotiations.
A deal for Mars has been worked out and the network has given the series a greenlight. ABC has also renewed Legal for season five.
The Legal good news may come with a cost however. As part of the renewal deal, it sounds like Kelley will have to do some cost cutting.
To start, ABC may cut its episode order to just 13. It also looks like the show’s cast list will be trimmed once again. Word is that all but Alan (James Spader), Denny (William Shatner), Shirley (Candice Bergen), and a few others will return as regular characters. Will Carl (John Larroquette), Jerry (Christian Clemenson), Clarence (Gary Anthony Williams), Katie (Tara Summers), Lorraine (Saffron Burrows), or Whitney (Taraji P. Henson) survive to see the new season? Who would you like to see return?