Boston Legal Cancelled? [UPDATE: Shatner Says No]

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? 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.

Click to see the Shat-tastic preview of tonight’s “Boston Legal” at

UPDATE: Shatner says no’s article sparked a discussion over at 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, 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)

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Ack! Denny! Noooooo…

FIRST! Can’t wait to see tonights episode :)

No More Denny… what has the world come to.
I know, pinco commie Democrats

What will Shat do for rent money? We hardly ever get to see him anywhere.

oh, my…
can’t they at least film a series finale wherein Khan finally gets his fanatasy?


Maybe shat asked for too much money..and the show’s producers are faced with building cardboard sets! heheheh..I dont watch boston legal and it dosent show!:)

You’ll just have to wait to see what happens on this episode of Rescue…………………..911.

All I have to say is, Boston Legal had better NOT be canceled. Not after just 4 seasons. Boston Legal is one of the few shows I actually… and I’m only 24 (almost 25), meaning I’m outside of the major demographic watching the show. But the show is too good and is doing too well for ABC to just drop it.

That said, they probably just haven’t announced whether or not it’s coming back because they’re still working out the contracts. I’m pretty optimistic it will be returning and until I see something that says the show is definitely canceled, I won’t fret. :)

Oh, yes, and… Denny Crane.

Shatner’s great on Boston Legal; I wouldn’t call myself a fan as I don’t watch it with any regularity. That said, I will go out on a limb and say Shatner’s doing the best acting of his career in the role of Denny Crane. I honestly think this is the role where he got to show the public at large that he was a good actor.

Shatner rules. I hope I get to see him on the small AND big screens later this year. :)

David E. Kelley’ has used so many Trek actors in his shows. Obviosly he is a fan. It makes you wonder what kinda Trek series he would make. I’m sure it would be entertaining.

Boston Legal is a fantastic series, not only because of the Shat. Spader and Bergen are marvellous, too, as are almost all other actors, and the chemistry between Shatner and Spader is just perfect. Aahh, those balcony scenes… :) The issues covered are topical, and the mixture of comedy and poignancy could not be delivered any better. Would be a real shame if it was eventually cancelled.

Yep! :)

I would hate to see it canceled :( Love the series.

With the writers strike over he has to get honed
and ready for his part in the Star Trek XI. Of course
this hasn’t or won’t be disclosed but I can’t how this
film can have what it will without his inclusion. After
all they do time travel so it only makes sense – right?
Also…I’m curious as to how he was paid for doing
the voiceover on the updated Star Trek? Anyone know?

God i liked this show Shaner as Deny Craine was a delight to watch. The man has a flair for comic acting als leslie Nelson

Awww say it ain’t so!

I don’t watch it as often as I should, but I have it on DVD. Shatner does such a great job with his character, it would be awful to have that disappear. Many people say it, but his greatness in the part is why, so I shall close the same way: “Denny Crane!”

I honestly can’t say this is a surprise. The show has slid creatively downhill quite a bit in the last season. David E Kelley has a hard time sustaining shows much beyond 3 or 4 seasons, I think at least partly because he turns them into soapboxes. I happen to agree with a lot of the views he expresses, but even I get tired of it.

Plus, he seems to have a problem knowing where to take a character’s development after a while. I think that’s why his productions are usually plagued by high actor turnover (just look at The Practice or Boston Public, or hell, Boston Legal while we’re at it). He takes the characters so far, then doesn’t know what to do with them. So he just replaces them with new ones.


That exclusion of Boston Legal by ABC has just got to be an oversight.

That being said,

Denny Crane!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I didn’t watch Seinfeld or Friends and now the ONLY current show I’ve watched in years, . . .they’re cancelling it. This was my Tuesday night right after I put the baby down for the night. The episode they hit on the school system and standardized tests was very topical to this school teacher. Hope those writers got all they wanted out of this thing.

Wut The F–k ????

I thought the show was a consistant ratings winner????
The espisode where he defended (and banged) a milf-sh Bess Armstrong was maybe the funniest hour of tv I can ever remember. Lame!!! Prob a penny pinching move. Although ratings are strong it’s cheaper to put a shit reality tv show (Hillbilly wife-swap or Ghetto Entrepeneaur or something equally trashy) Too bad besides Lost and Life on Mars (which is done) I am officially done with episodic tv.
On to re-watch my Hong Kong movie collection.

ABC has been shitting on “Boston Legal” since inception. They constantly tinker with the makeup of the show, and its scheduling is sporadic at best. It’s still good, but I really liked the first season which was a little more serious and realistic, but still very humorous and fun. Closer to how it started out in the last season of “The Practice,” though not as glum.

Shatner’s not so hot anymore is he; his show won’t even be on TV when the new Star Trek movie comes out, Ha Ha suck on that SHATNER.

I think the current teaser for BL and the Kirk book seem to go together nicely, To Boldly Go and Serve and Protect…

Finally. It’s about time.

I found the show to be one of the most irreverent, flimsy, flippant and biggest waste of time of any show currently on the air. Kellys’ THE PRACTICE was a masterpiece compared to it.

Oh, and speaking of Kelley alumni (Chi McBride), I’m thrilled Pushing Daisies has been renewed. That show is truly entertaining.

I’ve never seen the show, but just because it might get cancelled… I’ll watch it tonight. Or at least TiVo it…

If it is cancelled here should be the last scene:

Shore: Helluva run eh, Denny?
Crane: At my age, I don’t run Alan. I save my energy for other things
Shore: I am gonig to miss you
Crane: As will I…..ENERGIZE!

Crane disappears in a beam of light

Shore: Live long and prosper, my friend!


And here come the Shat bashers…

Its been interesting to watch him evolve over the years… cheers to the next adventure!

There could be BOSTON LEGAL:THE MOVIE. But hurry before Shatner’s replaced by a younger actor.

I hear David Kelley is notorious for not paying big salaries to actors. If that’s the case, I can see why he might want to shut down Boston Legal after Season 4. If Shatner’s contract has to be renegotiated, then one can only guess (and shudder) as to what his money demands would be…..which is silly when you consider that James Spader is BY FAR the best thing about the show!

A little buffoonery by Shatner goes a LONG way!

#31–LMAO! Took what? 40 years for The Shat’s replacement to arrive on Trek? He’s got time.


Shatner is awsome at Denny Crane, I never figured him for comedy. I’ll miss the show if it goes off the air. The funny thing is if it wasn’t for Shatner I wouldn’t even watch the show. I usually hate Law and Doctor shows.
I have had many a sucsessful Law and Medical practice’s in the last few hundred years and am fed up with the subject for now. One day when I live a an isolated planet I’ll pick up on it again.

What the %$#@#? It has to be a pinko-commie left-wing conspiracy or something! Cancel Denny Crane? Denny Crane, the name on the door! Yikes! I hope this isn’t true, Boston Legal might be the funniest show on television!

#10: I heard there was another “Miss Congeniality” movie coming out this year, so I’m sure you’ll get your wish :-)

Keep in mind that of the 9 shows that got renewed by ABC here, 8 are produced in-house by the network, and Pushing Daisies is produced by WB. Since that’s been both a critical success and a pretty good hit in the ratings, it was worth renewing right away.

Boston Legal is produced by Fox, so it wouldn’t be in a position to get such a quick renewal. Plus, I believe BL got a rather late renewal order last year, so I don’t see why anything would be different this year, given the ratings are more or less the same. That being said, I really hope they get another year (or more); it’s still a great show.

Boston Legal is the best show ABC has!
ABC might be trying to create a letter writing campain.
Seems to me like a dumb ass move though.
As time after time shows, the dopes in suits never know best.

The networks really suck for the most part anyway.

CBS is a good one to STAY AWAY from,
(except for 60 minutes sometimes).

Besides The Simpsons, Fox kind of sucks.

NBC has a half good comedy night with 30 Rock & The Office,
but the rest of their shows make me want to vomit.

Boston Legal is one of my favorite shows from the 5 network teat.

But with all that not one good sci-fi show in the bunch.

We need more good SCI-FI on Network TV!

Like Battlestar Galactica (NBC for a weekend?)
& Masters Of Science Fiction (ABC)!

At least cable has a few decent shows sprinkled about.
Science Fiction & regular.

Bring on “Denny Crane: The Motion Picture”!

Just as long as they renew “Cavemen.” ;)

Used to watch Boston Legal all the time, but I stopped because I think it lost its way. It got way too “preachy” with its politics. And Denny Crane rea became a caricature instead of a real character like he was when the show first started.

I hope Boston Legal isnt cancelled because I think Shatner is great (my favorite actor of all time, actually).

Not the time to worry just yet. ABC can’t renew the show until it negotiates with FOX and David Kelley. Boston Legal renewals are usually announced later than their own in house productions. Boston Legal was a good solid performer for ABC this year and Kelley supplied them with the most fresh episodes of any show prestrike. Plus, the show is still relevant! I think that in the next few weeks as things get back to normal, we’ll be getting confirmation that all is well and BL will be back for a 5th year.

I’ve given up on arguing with these networks, they are spineless.

I too avoid most network TV. If Boston Legal does get canceled, it wouldn’t make that big a difference to me personally as I’m not a regular viewer. That said, Shatner is terrific on BL, the role of Denny Crane is tailor-made for him. The relationship between Shatner and James Spader is arguably the best thing about the show.

“As long as my body holds up, my mind is as willing as it’s ever been.”

Good for Shatner. The guy is keeping busy and active where many others of his age (or far less) are slowing down or doing nothing at all. I think that even I would have a tough time keeping up with the guy!

I think ABC might treat BL like it did NYPD Blue towards the end. Look for it to be on the bench as a mid-season show rather than flat-out canceled.

I read something around the first part of this season of Boston Legal that if the show got cancelled this season that Kelley wanted kill Denny Crain and have a poignant Episode of Alan saying good bye to his dying friend.

I can’t remember where I saw this, but there it is .

RE: Cancellation of Boston Legal. Salaries might be the issue. I’m not sure who could replace Willian Shatner as Dennie Crane. I do know that James Spader could be replaced during a commercial break by Michael Shanks without missing a beat!

Shatnerites may not want to hear it, but James Spader is the main reason for Boston Legal’s success. The scenes between Spader and Shatner are entertaining, but Spader is clearly THE STAR of this ensemble show! His brilliantly written and acted scenes in the courtroom are what compel people to tune in, the scenes with the two of them together on the balcony at the end of each show….simply icing on that cake!

Spader is the main focus with Shatner simply providing some comic relief.