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Boston Legal is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning American dramedy television series that began airing on ABC on October 3rd, 2004. The show is a spin-off of the long-running legal drama The Practice. The series, like its predecessor, was created by David E. Kelley. It follows attorney Alan Shore (a character introduced during the last season of The Practice, played by James Spader) to his new law firm, Crane, Poole & Schmidt. It also stars veteran television actors Candice Bergen and William Shatner. Season 3 began on September 19th, 2006.
Before the show's premiere, it had a working title of Fleet Street, an allusion to the real street in Boston where the fictitious Crane, Poole & Schmidt had its offices. The working title was later modified to The Practice: Fleet Street, but this title was dropped in favor of Boston Legal before the show premiered.
Most of the final episodes of The Practice were focused on introducing the new characters from Crane, Poole & Schmidt in preparation for Boston Legal's launch. Thus, the story of Boston Legal can be said to begin with the episode of The Practice in which Eugene Young and Jimmy Berluti of Young, Frutt & Berluti decided to fire Alan Shore without consulting Ellenor Frutt, beginning a story arc of several episodes. They give Alan a severance package of only fifteen thousand dollars, even though Alan has brought in over six million dollars of revenue to the firm. Tara Wilson gets fired for her loyalty to Alan, and Alan goes to Crane, Poole & Schmidt to represent himself in the matter, thinking he has a claim under Massachusetts law to take over Young, Frutt & Berluti. Denny Crane, Senior and Founding Partner of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, takes an interest in the case and even argues at the trial, cross-examining Young. The jury awards Alan the millions of dollars of revenue he brought in to Young, Frutt & Berluti but does not order the firm to rehire him, so Denny hires Alan at his firm. After Young is appointed a judge, his first case (in the final episode of The Practice) happens to be with Alan for the defense, making Young wonder if Alan judge-shopped (this opens the door for Steve Harris to guest-star on Boston Legal as a judge).
Even with all this preparation, the official premiere episode for Boston Legal does introduce new characters, such as partner Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois, in a role different from his tenure as a hapless judge on The Practice), and has an interesting cameo by Al Sharpton as himself.
In the second season premiere, Anthony Heald reprised his role as a California judge, Judge Cooper, on The Practice (it is rare for an actor in David E. Kelley's shows to repeat a guest role from an earlier show as the same character, but not uncommon for David E. Kelley star to appear in another Kelley show as a different character). Heald was part of the ensemble cast in another show created by David E. Kelley, Boston Public.
Denny: This country works Alan. You democrats don't want to admit it. Oh I'm not saying there aren't kinks! Foam chips off the occasional space craft, we start the odd war on false pretenses, but by and large...America works! That's why I'm completely nuts about it.
Shirley: You do realize that I am significantly older than you are.
Jeffrey: Then be my significantly older other.
Denny: Well. Shall we pick up where we left off, my little friend?
Bethany: Forget it.
Bethany: Because one of the rules I try to follow in my social life is, ‘don’t date guys who slept with my mother.’
Alan: Denise, you've always struck me as a woman who secretly longs to be debased. It's an awfully big job. But I feel I'm just the man to... do it.
Denise: Don't stop. I'm curious to see just how low you'll go.
Alan: All the way down. Again. And again. I see the filthy, naughty girl deep inside you, Denise, longing to get out. Now, if you're so unwilling to let her out. Perhaps I should go in after her. I brought my snorkel.
(Discussing a case concerning cannibals)
Shirley: Because this case is disgusting, it's distasteful, it's repugnant...
Alan: Everything I stand for.
Shirley: I'll drive.
Alan: Shirley, is this about getting in a room with me?
Shirley: (sarcastically) Yes Alan, I went out and recruited a cannibal just to get close to you.
Alan: Admit it Shirley, you're drawn to me like Eve to the Serpent. Take me home and help me stretch my coil.
Shirley: Has that line actually worked?
Alan: It's working now.
Denny: Welcome, to Boston Legal.
Claire: Jeffrey, the gross man is fondling me.
Denny: It's the official firm greeting.
(squeezes Claire's butt)
Denny: Cue the music.
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