Boston Legal is a spin-off of the long-running Kelley series The Practice, following the exploits of former Practice character Alan Shore (James Spader) at the legal firm of Crane, Poole and Schmidt.


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Top Rated TV #219 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Alan Shore (101 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Denny Crane (101 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Shirley Schmidt (91 episodes, 2005-2008)
 Paul Lewiston (71 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Brad Chase (70 episodes, 2004-2007)
 Denise Bauer (52 episodes, 2005-2008)
 Jerry Espenson (50 episodes, 2005-2008)


Ethically-challenged attorney Alan Shore, formerly of Young, Frutt & Berluti, settles in at a wealthy and powerful firm focusing on civil cases. With some help from his friend and mentor, veteran attorney Denny Crane, Shore quickly makes his mark winning cases no one would take, often using less than honest methods. In doing so, he develops a rival in his colleague Brad Chase, who has been assigned to the office partly to keep an eye on the increasingly eccentric (and possibly senile) Denny Crane. Though his questionable conduct might make him a few enemies along the way, Alan's not one to be underestimated, nor will he let trivial things like honesty or integrity get in the way of winning a case. Written by Todd Smitts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the courtroom.


Comedy | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

3 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fleet Street  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lake Bell (Sally) claims her audition for the role was unsuccessful. See more »


In several episodes when Denny and Alan are looking to join (and actually do join) a branch of the military, they choose the Coast Guard Auxillary, to which the show mistakenly refers to as "the Auxilliary Coast Guard". See more »


Denny Crane: Did my client tell you that this drug is unapproved by the FDA?
Mark Harrison: Yes.
Denny Crane: Did he tell you that, ah, there could be side effects?
Mark Harrison: Yes.
Denny Crane: You were fully informed.
Mark Harrison: I was.
Denny Crane: You consented.
Mark Harrison: I did.
Denny Crane: Take it again?
Mark Harrison: Absolutely.
See more »

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User Reviews

Denny Crane and Alan Shore .... enough said !
24 August 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Boston Legal is one of the best takes on a TV legal drama that I have seen. It manages to mix drama and comedy pretty well for the most part and introduces us to Alan and Denny who are magnetic characters, played to perfection by James Spader and an incredible William Shatner. To review this whole 5 season series (which i have steadily worked through on DVD over the last 2 months) would take forever, so let me highlight a few good and bad points as i see them.

Season 1 & 2 had a sharper edge and better dialogue than subsequent seasons. It felt almost as if they were searching for better ratings from season 3 onwards and chose to introduce characters and plots which would deliberately jazz things up a bit. In my opinion the show suffered because of this.

The characters Jefferey Coho, Claire Simms, Lorraine Weller and Clarence / Clarice Bell added virtually nothing to the show that wasn't there already (other than the cross dressing element) and as they failed to perk up ratings its almost as if David E Kelly thought "well... tried some new faces, didn't work, lets write them out and try something else."

I also felt that the writers seemed to ignore the more obvious direction that they could have taken, which would have been to flesh out the Denny and Alan characters even more. You are treated to some glimpses of their past when they are discussing their lives on the balcony, but Dennys brilliant former career is never seen first hand and Alans many previous painful issues are only represented in the narrative. Perhaps if even more screen time had been given to these two instead of trying to continually bolster up the supporting characters, the show would have been more successful.

The recurring theme of the lawyers in the show standing trial for their various indiscretions and always getting away with it was an over used plot and began to wear a bit thin. Similarly, I can only recall one trial verdict of any kind that didn't go in favour of Mssrs Crane, Poole and Schmidt.

There were flashes of poetry with this show that i felt genuinely moved by. To name a few .....

  • Alans closing argument to allow Shirleys father the right to a

dignified death

  • Dennys dominant yet tender legal confrontation with his "son" Donny.

  • Alans arguing against the death penalty in front of the supreme court

  • Paul's fatherly approach to everyone at the firm.

  • Alans good and honest heart (which he tries hard to conceal)

  • The brilliant portrayal of Jerry Espenson by Christain Clemenson

  • The unbreakable friendship between Denny and Alan, and subsequently

between most of the characters at Crane, Poole and Schmidt.

In summation (may as well use the legal terminology), despite the shows many lulls and obvious flaws, I absolutely loved it. William Shatner is a revelation in his role and James Spader is Perfect in his.

On a personal note, I have lost count of the times my wife has gone ballistic because I have responded to a situation or question by simply saying in the appropriate tone ................. "Denny Crane!"

42 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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