David E. Kelley
television writer, producer
One of the most prolific writers in television history, Kelley began his scriptwriting career as a story editor on LA Law, where he first brought his experience as an attorney to bear on television's portrayal of the legal profession. From there he went on to executive produce and write weekly episodes for the critically acclaimed small-town drama Picket Fences (1992–96), whose weekly climax occurred in Ray Walston's courtroom. While working on Picket Fences, Kelley was simultaneously working as head writer for the medical saga Chicago Hope (1994–2000 ). He took some time off from television to write To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996), a feature film starring his wife, Michelle Pfeiffer. Most recently, he went back to television as creator and writer for two legal-minded series, Ally McBeal (1997–2002), which won a Golden Globe and Emmy as best comedy series, and The Practice (1997–2004), which won numerous Emmys including best drama series. Boston Legal (2004–), produced by Kelley, is a spinoff of The Practice, starring James Spader and William Shatner, both of whom received Emmys for their roles.