Star Trek, Rescue 911, TekWar, and TJ Hooker are all shows where William Shatner was not able to break through the 100 episode barrier. Hopes were that he would finally do it with a fifth season of Boston Legal, but that is now in some doubt. Yesterday ABC announced pick-ups for their fall line-up and Shatner’s current series was not on the list. However, ABC will be bringing back Trek-related series Lost , Samantha, Who? and Pushing Daisies.
No more…Denny Crane?
TrekMovie.com has not been able to confirm if Boston Legal has been officially canceled, but it is at least ‘on the bubble.’ Boston Legal has done reasonably well in the ratings and has garnered accolades from the critics (as well as picking up a few Emmys). However, the audience skews older and after four seasons it already has enough episodes to go into syndication. Plus many of the stars (including Shatner) have contracts which expire at the end of this season and would require renegotiation for a 5th season. Boston Legal creator David E. Kelley is currently readying his next ABC series, the UK-import Life on Mars featuring TNG/DS9 star Colm Meaney.
Even if this is Boston Legal’s last season, there are are still new episodes yet to air. The second-to-last pre-strike episode “Glow in the Dark” airs tonight. The episode features Star Trek Enterprise’s Scott Bakula reuniting with his Murphy Brown flame, Candice Bergen (see Bakula interview excerpt below). The preview features The Shat in a must-see moment (see below). Assuming the strike ends this week the show is scheduled to go back into production next week to shoot the remaining eight episodes for the season.
UPDATE: Shatner says no
TrekMovie.com’s article sparked a discussion over at WilliamShatner.com and The Bill himself replied, saying
We are not cancelled.
My Best, Bill
So if they are not on the Fall schedule and not cancelled where are they? One possibility is that the 5th season for BL would be in the Spring 2009 “mideason.” All will be known by the May ‘upfronts’ when the networks announced their final plans for the upcoming year, so stay tuned.
Bakula on Boston Legal & Return to TV
TV GUIDE talked to the former Enterprise Captain about his guest role on Boston Legal and a possible return to TV, here are some excerpts
TV Guide: How was it to work with Candice again?
Bakula: Wonderful. She’s so gracious, welcoming and generous and she’s just the same as she was [then].
TV Guide: Do fans more remember you as Sam Beckett (Quantum Leap) or Capt. Archer (Enterprise)?
Bakula: [Laughs] Both. Sci-fi fans are very devoted and continue to be. I’ll be going to the 20th-anniversary convention for Quantum.
TV Guide: Want to go back to series TV?
Bakula: I’m ready. In a perfect world, I’d like to do an old-fashioned three-camera show.
Lost, Daisies and Samantha coming back
The JJ Abrams/Damon Lindelof created Lost had already been announced as part of ABC’s lineup for next year (and the year after), so that show is cancel-proof. Another Trekker making good at ABC is Voyager writer-producer Bryan Fuller whose quirky dramedy Pushing Daisies has been picked up for a 2nd season. If you haven’t seen the show yet, TrekMovie.com highly recommends it. In addition the sitcom Samantha, Who? featuring Voyager’s Tim Russ was also picked up for a second season.
The cast of Fuller’s “Pushing Daisies” are coming back
A newly uploaded ShatnerVision shows Bill’s recent Golden Globes Dateline Special interview with Shatner discussing Boston Legal and…Denny Crane
MORE BONUS SHAT: Shatner gets nostalgic
In the January Details Magazine, Shatner waxes philosophically on his career:
Careers are here and they’re gone. I enjoy performing, and I feel lately like I’ve reached the apex of what I can do as a performer. Even my memory for dialogue has never been sharper. But no matter how great we think we are, we’re nothing but the temples of Ozymandias—we’re ruins in the making.
But The Shat is still going, with more plans:
Life motivates me. Ideas motivate me. I want to do a talk show. I have ideas for three animated films. I’m nearly finished with my autobiography. I continue to write Star Trek—themed novels. My daughter [Lisbeth] and I have extremely successful websites and a video blog, even though my computer’s still in the box it arrived in. As long as my body holds up, my mind is as willing as it’s ever been.
(more Shatner Details excerpts at Buddy TV)