“Boston Legal” will be back on ABC next fall. Variety says the show had been at the center of a tug-of-war between ABC and David E. Kelley Productions.
According to the trade, ABC wants to greenlight the pilot “Life on Mars,” but Kelley owns the rights to the show (an adaptation of the BBC drama of the same name).
Kelley has expressed his intention to leave “Mars” but in order for the show to continue without him, first needed to negotiate his departure.
That’s where Kelley’s beloved “Legal” comes in. The show has a loyal, but small audience and wasn’t a lock to return for another season.
But insiders now say that a deal has been reached between ABC, Kelley and 20th Century Fox TV, and “Legal” indeed will be back for a fifth season.
“Mars,” meanwhile, hasn’t been officially ordered to series yet but a deal appears to be imminent.
“Boston Legal” stars James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen and John Larroquette. Bill D’Elia executive produces with Kelley.