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David E. Kelley is an American television writer and producer known for such series as L.A. Law, Ally McBeal and The Practice.
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The couple's son, John Henry, was born in 1994. During his sabbatical from TV, Kelley wrote and co-produced his second feature film, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996), featuring Pfeiffer in the title role. The film received mixed reviews.
Kelley's next two TV offerings, ABC's The Practice and FOX's Ally McBeal, both focused on law firms in Boston, but each had a radically different slant. While The Practice portrayed the gritty everyday workings of a group of criminal defense lawyers, Ally McBeal focused on a stylish, impossibly neurotic female lawyer and her colleagues at a wacky, high-fee law firm. After its debut in the spring of 1997, The Practice started slowly, but went on to win the Emmy for outstanding drama in 1998. By contrast, Ally McBeal, released in the fall of 1997, was an immediate hit among viewers and brought stardom to Calista Flockhart, who played the series' title character.
In 1999, Kelley emerged as the unchallenged king of primetime TV. During the 1999-2000 season, he was involved in no fewer than 5 series, including Ally, a new half-hour version of Ally McBeal made up of previously unused footage from the first 2 seasons, and Snoops, a sexy private-eye drama that has been panned by critics but has received surprisingly good ratings. He also played an increased role in a revamped Chicago Hope. On September 12, 1999, Kelley accomplished the singular feat of winning Emmys for both outstanding drama series and outstanding comedy series, for his work on The Practice and Ally McBeal.
Other recent series created by Kelley include Boston Public (2000-2004) and Boston Legal (2004-2008), which starred James Spader and William Shatner.
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