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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 #239 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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

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Comedy | Crime | Drama

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TV-14 | See all certifications »

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3 October 2004 (USA)  »

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Fleet Street  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ringtone of Catherine Piper (Betty White) is the opening theme of David E. Kelly's other show The Practice (1997), of which this show is spun-off. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Alan Shore: What's your specialty?
Dr. Allen Konigsberg: Couples' counseling. I first saw the client and his wife together. Since the divorce I've been working with him alone.
Alan Shore: So they came to you to improve their relationship, and now one wants to kill the other. Not your best work, was it, doctor?
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.79 (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

A hilarious and unlikely spin-off
10 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I admit I didn't watch "The Practice" as a regular show, but I saw enough to see that it was a dark, clever series examining the everyday work of a small Boston firm who primarily defended criminals. "Boston Legal" is a much different show. Centered around a civil and corporate firm that only occasionally deals in criminal cases. The place is a circus, it's David E. Kelley's hybrid of "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," although the latter included hallucinations and bizarre love lifes.

Emmy-winner James Spader, the ever shameless and subtly self-destructive Alan Shore is the slimy playboy who, like it or not, is a fantastic attorney. Denny Crane (fellow Emmy-winner William Shatner) seems like the perfect match for Shore's unpredictable fashion. Both men are unorthodox, and Denny is slipping. He's also a great attorney, but he doesn't know it half the time. The two are the perfect team, each willing to forgive the other for their shortcomings in the area of law, and cover each other as such. Paul Lewiston (Rene Aberjonois) is the figurehead of everything they are not. He is respectable, by-the-book, and without conscience. The embodiment of the sleazy corporate attorney, and more concerned with keeping a client than with admitting a falacy on their part. Brad Chase (Mark Valley) is in the same boat insofar as playing by the rules, but he's Denny's man, and it pisses him off that Alan gets all the attention for his crimes. Laurie Colson (Monica Potter) is the idealistic attorney who has dabbled in Alan Shore's method of practicing law with disastrous consequences. Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra) is finally sleeping with Alan, and happily playing along in his little game. And Sally Heep (Lake Bell) has all but disappeared since she broke up with Alan, so that she is little more than an errand boy (girl).

And most recently Candice Bergen has joined the cast at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, as Shirley Schmidt (Edwin Poole has gone off the deep end after showing up at work, having only dressed the top half of his body.) and she appears to be Alan Shore in reverse. She's manipulative, wisecracking, and short with answers, but she seems to appeal to the ethical way of practicing law. Now back from New York and busting balls due to a law suit filed by one of their employees, she seems a welcome edition to the show.

Perfect follow-up to "Desperate Housewives," and just as funny. It's proof that David E. Kelley still has a few tricks up his sleeve.


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