Shatcember Week 2: Saying Goodbye to Boston Legal

The month of Shatcember continues along, this week featuring both ends (Boston Legal) and beginnings (the second week for Raw Nerve) for William Shatner. continues its tribute to Shatner and his many TV appearances this month with a look at the finale for BL, new Shatner video, news on upcoming Shat appearances and more.


Say goodbye to ‘Denny Crane!’
Tomorrow (Monday, Shatcember 8th), sees the end of an era with the last episode of Boston Legal ("Last Call") on ABC. At 101 episodes, Boston Legal becomes Shatner’s longest running TV series, beating TJ Hooker, Rescue 911 and Star Trek, and that doesn’t even include the 5 episodes when he played Denny Crane on The Practice. Shatner’s Crane character has become a television icon, earning the actor numerous awards including two Emmys and a Golden Globe.

Here is Shatner on Jimmy Kimmel Live talking about both his new show Raw Nerve, and the finale of Boston Legal.

More Shatner media interviews
Shat will be the King of all media this week talking about the end of BL and his new chat show, so set your DVRs for these Shatner appearances this week (all times are Eastern)

  • December 8th: Today Show 8AM (NBC)
  • December 8th: Regis and Kelly (Syndicated, check local listings for times and channels)
  • December 8th: Howard Stern Radio Show (XM Radio)
  • December 9th: Opie and Anthony Radio Show (XM Radio)
  • December 9th: Showbiz Tonight – 11 PM (CNN)
  • December 10th: Dr. Mehmet Oz -Oprah Radio – 6PM (XM Radio)

And of course do not forget to check in with the two hour Boston Legal Finale "Made in China" and "Last Call" on December 8th at 9 PM (ABC). Watch a video preview at

James Spader and William Shatner in the Boston Legal finale

Denny and Boston Legal – postmodernists
Some of the more charming elements of the character and show are the postmodern references, both to the fact that Boston Legal is a television show yet they also often ‘break the 4th wall’ and also the numerous referects to Star Trek on the show. During the episode "Too Much Information," Crane tells Alan Shore that "I’ve hardly seen you this episode." The second season finale episode included Alan telling Denny "I’ll see you next season." In the episode, "Thanksgiving" Alan tells Crane that he will be fine after he retires, because he will be doing Priceline commercials. Star Trek is referenced through Denny’s ringtone (which is the communicator sound) and mentions by Denny of beaming and his previous captaining of his own spaceship ("What am I supposed to do, beam myself to Boston every morning?"). In the episode "Finding Nimmo" Alan mentions that the extinction of Salmon is caused by "sea lice called cling-ons" which prompts Denny to ask "Did you just say Klingons?" Many Trek veterans, from Rene Auberjonois, Scott Bakula, Ethan Phillips, and John Larroquette, have also been featured on the show. 

Boston Legal was in the tradition of shows such as Moonlighting, which were dramadies that broke the fourth wall of television and introduced characters that were both strange, yet loveable. And the relationship between Denny and Alan Shore (James Spader), will be remembered as one of the greatest friendships in TV history. Denny Crane, we will miss you.

Here is a tribute video to Denny and Alan.

More Shatcember – more Raw Nerve guests
In other Shatcember news, some new guests have been announced to the lineup of future episodes of Raw Nerve, Shatner’s new talk show on The Biography Channel, including Scott Baio, Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, and Fran Drescher.

This week’s Shatner’s Raw Nerve
December 9th at 10PM and 10:30PM (BIO), Bill’s guests are are Jenna Jameson and Jimmy Kimmel.

Shat talks future music
Also, a new Shatner video where he answers whether he will do another musical album with Ben Folds

Shatcember Gift Idea
Need a gift for a Shatner fan? How about a Shatnerific "A Carol Christmas" DVD. This 2003 TV movie starring Tori Spelling in a reimagined version of the Charles Dickens classic features William Shatner as the Ghost of Christmas Present. This movie shows every year on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. It was during the filming of this holiday movie that someone called Shatner a "has been" which was the inspiration for his 2004 song and album of the same name. The Shat knows how to make an injury and insult something worthwhile. And that’s pretty Shatastic.

"A Carol Christmas" is available at Amazon.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Shatner is the best

I am so gonna miss Alan and Denny :(

I am thinking Denny Crane (!) finds his end falling off that balcony.

My favorite episode is where Murphy Brown fakes a Denny Crane orgasm

oooh yeah

giggity giggity

It’s a shame this show is ending.
So much dramatic potential, cut short.
Denny’s ‘mad cow’ subplot is just starting to take off.

I always thought the show would end with Alan on the balcony, drink in one hand, cigar in the other…

sitting alone.

RIP Boston Legal.

Bill better find better guests for his show. Scott Baio? Seriously? Fran Drescher?

Well, as long as Shatner tv series are listed up there, BARBARY COAST only lasted 13 episodes. ;)

Oh, and I still find it fascinating that David Gautreaux was on BOSTON LEGAL last week. Even though he had only two lines, he was in a scene with Shatner.

Xai wrote:

> I am thinking Denny Crane (!) finds his end falling off that balcony.

From the top of the balcony ledge to the bottom is about 4 1/2 feet. I should know… I was on-set and saw it!

I think the show sometimes went too often for the laugh, and could have had more dramatic moments. I’d like to have seen Shatner go deeper, but I’ve still loved the show and his performance.

Goodbye to the second best show that’s ever been shown. Kudos to Shatner, Spader and all the wonderful actors on BL for making this series really special. A television icon, indeed, and the portrayal of a unique and memorable friendship.

Only 2 more weeks until I can stop having to read the word “Shatcember”

Boy am I gonna miss the joy that is Boston Legal, the most consistantly best written show on the air. Amidst all the trash it was a real treasure.

…it’s been said’s Shatner’s world, we just live in it.

..and btw..RIP Forrey Ackerman.

We just think we’re fans…he wrote the book.

I think Tori Spelling is so unattractive and fake looking.
I think she had to much plastic surgery , or maybe she did too much LDS (ST4 reff).
I am so happy for William Shatner he will be great as a talk show host.

….Re: #12 – you can actually stop reading it right now. Sign off.

At its best, this show has caused me to laugh out loud, cheer, and occasionally well up with tears over the years.

Kudos to The Shat, Spader, the rest of the cast, and especially David E. Kelley, who after creating the Denny Crane character insisted (as Shat described in Up Til Now):

“Get me Shatner!”

I know the debate has been had (and certainly more than once) about Shatner’s acting abilities. But I do have to say that if anything proves his ability to fully realize and create a character, it is his portrayal of Denny Crane. And the fact that his Kirk is looked upon just as fondly proves the fact that Shatner certainly has the ability to make us believe he is the character he plays. That takes some skill right there.

So, to use a Trek title: “All Good Things…”

Everyone is talking about Shatner, but I just want to acknowledge how much I’ve enjoyed James Spader’s performance as Alan Shore.

I will miss his closing arguments in court as well as his balcony chats with Denny!

18 – Amen. He has spanned a career of decades and continued to grow as an actor and a man throughout them. I was about to post practically the same words, but you took them write out of my mouth.

Mr. Tenuto and, thank you for such a poignant and fitting tribute to Mr. Shatner and the phenomenal performances he gave in this program and, of course, in Trek.

Iowagirl and Harry Ballz — You’re both right that Spader also contributed so much to this show. Theirs is one of the most memorable and realistic friendships in any television show — the depths of their camaraderie and the realism of their feuds. Let’s hope that the Shat will sometime soon chat with Mr. Spader on “Raw Nerve.”

Boy, I wish I could watch this BL finale tonight, but I am currently without TV and I have to work. :-(

HEY DONT FORGET december 1sts episode where catherine piper, played by betty whie, had the theme song of the practice as her ringtone and carl sack, played by john larroquette, when into a tirade in the courtroom where he was explaining that there were almost no tv shows onair for his generation except…’b—– —–‘ (he stopped after the ‘b’…but he nearly said the name of the show ON THE SHOW)

22 – And don’t forget David Gautreaux (Commander Branch – STTMP) was in the 12/1 episode.

I’ll miss Boston Legal. Only show that’s gotten me watching network TV again in maybe 20 yrs. Was a nice place to visit.

Lets Start a Letter writting campaign to save Boston Legal…!!! I’ll hold a Pizza Party at my place on Saturday night.. Who wants to join me…?


Oh Sure…I saved STAR TREK..But nobody wants to help me SAVE Boston Legal….HaRumpfff!!

Bjo- I grok it! Give me a bumper sticker and a bumper to stick it on and I’ll stick the sticker on the bumper.

…or just say rubber baby buggy bumpers 3 times fast.


Shatner has spoken a few times that he wants to wean the show away from just celebrities to include lesser celebrities and even folks who are just interesting but not remotely famous. But everyone agreed to put a couple of celebs in the first couple episodes to get some media buzz.

Shatner’s awesome, but GOOD RIDDANCE to Boston Legal.

Started out great, but went quickly into the toilet when it turned into David E. Kelley’s soap-box.

Yes, but Mr. Kelley’s speech from that soap-box was usually pretty astute!

The Shat is the man!


I got it. I was with you.

I assume she’s still with us, no?


Especially when he tackled things like the school system with it’s standardized tests. This, as a teacher, I appreciated.

I don’t think anything could save this show. It started out good, but wow, quality tanked.

Shatner Rocks!
But even that couldn’t keep me watchin BL.
General quality dropped, and I really didn’t want to be bitched at everyweek for whatever soapbox topic Kelley PUSHED.


31 – And usually always interesting — which is more than can be said of most television pontification posing as drama.

My Father,who passed away suddenly in May, was a BIG fan of BOSTON LEGAL and it’s a shame he never got to see these final episodes :(

What happened to Today? Shatner never showed up. At least on the Phoenix affiliate.

9. Robert Bernardo – December 8, 2008
Xai wrote:

> I am thinking Denny Crane (!) finds his end falling off that balcony.

“From the top of the balcony ledge to the bottom is about 4 1/2 feet. I should know… I was on-set and saw it!”

For William Shatner it was 4 1/2 feet, for Denny was several stories up.


I think James Woods comes in at the end and beats Denny to a bloody pulp.


You’re my hero! :-)

Much love!

OMG I admit that, even as a member of The High Church Of Shatnerology, I’d never bothered to sit thru an entire episode of Boston Legal. But I just watched the two final hours and it was a classic! ROTFLMFAO You gotta see it….. :-)

Just watched it. Not exactly how I would have had it go out. But nice. I’ll miss it.


That wasn’t really her was it? Nah.

Alan & Denny married, huh? Hmmm…I half expected George Takei to show up and cry foul at the end of the show! lol Actually, a classic way to end it, I suppose, though I never saw it coming (because I hadn’t watched it for a few years). The Shat hasn’t lost a thing, though!

I will miss Boston Legal. To me, the last episode seemed like a bittersweet farewell that did not even try to tie up all of the loose ends. I think that by leaving so much to the imagination it truly marks its place as a great show, for if we had not learned to care about the characters so much then I do not think that they would have tried to pull off this type of ending (successful, in my opinion). Now we can ponder whether or not Denny’s Alzheimers gets cured, enablking him to ride in and save the firm one last time. I also loved the Jerry-Katie subplot this season, a real feel-good story that also was not left wrapped up conveniently.

The spring of 2009 will also see another personal favorite TV show going out on its own merits, Battlestar Galactica. I hope that the 2009-10 TV season brings more shows of such quality. It’s nice to have to think about things.

“enablking” – Freudian? oops….

Alan’s pitch to the Supreme Court was well-written and beautifully acted by James Spader!

It.. was … fun.


How else to describe the end of Denny Crane? Great closure.

Thanks to the Shat for another great set of memories!



ps Shatcember ROCKS!!