Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why is Boston Legal Canceled?

As we reported a while back, next week brings us Boston Legal's last episode. I was literally stunned to learn the show was being discontinued! They even cut it short - Boston Legal only has 13 episodes this season, as opposed to the regular 22! I searched in vain for a reason, as no one seems to know exactly why Boston Legal is in its last season. The best reason offered was that it simply couldn't afford its super star-power and since there was little else said on the matter, I assumed it was something of a mutual agreement between the show and network.

But this week's episode featured Betty White and John Larroquette suing the networks for not including programming aimed at those over 50. Several other, pointed comments have been made, including an exchange featuring Candice Bergen in which she noted she was "hoping" other options came along which would save the firm (which is going bankrupt).

Boston Legal is clearly one of the best shows on TV and if the cast is still willing to do it, I want to ask other networks to consider picking it up. Honestly, Boston Legal would rock on HBO. I know that isn't going to happen, but man... that would be the optimum home for this incredible dramedy and it would flourish. Its older demographic has consistently been touted as a possible reason for its cancellation and on HBO, where they could pull out all the stops, the freedom to be as ostentatious as they want to be would certainly draw younger viewers.

Maybe TBS or USA will pick it up before everything is said and done? They may lose some of the cast, but so long as the writing remains (along with at least Spader and Shatner), guest-appearances would suffice, and Boston Legal would continue to be a strong performer.

For now, The Rundown mourns yet another fantastic show's passing and the steady decline into mediocrity we have come to expect from network programming. Now only Chuck, Smallville, and Supernatural are left on the free networks; everything else heaves.

Next week is the series' two-hour finale. It will be replaced by Castle, starring Firefly alumnus, Nathan Fillion.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

38 comments:

ManoDogs said...

Well, well - it appears we may be able to blame David E. Kelley.

Yet again...

ManoDogs said...

Feel free to read my eulogy and comment with your own lamentations.

Remember you don't have to have a Blogger account - or even a Google account - to post comments; The Weirding is Open ID-compliant. Use your AOL, WordPress, or other ID.

ManoDogs said...

Kelley lays the blame squarely at ABC's feet in today's TVGuide, so maybe we will never really know.

It is true that Life on Mars almost didn't get an American treatment due to issues between Kelley and the network, which resulted in Kelley leaving the project. It may come down to ABC being unwilling to work with him, more than anything specific to the show.

Either way, ABC cannot deny that it did not support Boston Legal. It is doing the same with Life on Mars, so enjoy what you'll get of it while you can!

Darlene Sayre said...

David E. Kelley is a genius and I can't wait for his next series. So sorry about Boston Legal. It was by far the BEST series on television.

Kaiden said...

Boston Legal has the best writers in television as well as on The Practice before it. However, it got a bit ridiculous with "Clarise" and Gerry "hands". James Spader is brilliant in his part and I am really going to miss this program. To me it is the best program on television.

ManoDogs said...

Denny Crane.

Anonymous said...

I am a 26 year old young executive, i work in banking/finance, and very rarely ever watch anything outside of cnbc or espn... and this is just another testament to why the networks continue to fail. It is honestly sad to see such a wonderful cast and writers cast to the side so we can make more room for the garbage that appeals to the "main-stream" viewers... what are we to do??? I guess the networks got to Denny before the mad cow did...

Anonymous said...

AT the beginning, too much flighty sex but program was still terrific.
At the end, too much preaching, but the program was terrific.
BECAUSE I learned a LOT of things I didn't know (assuming these are accurate) And the series brought to light serious issues (along with its humor) that needed to be in the light.

ManoDogs said...

Boston Legal has been nominated for Best Drama in the Producers' Guild of America awards.

rockfan4life said...

Boston Legal was too good for network television. I have not watched ABC since Boston Legal left the air. It was always poorly treated by the network.

Dae said...

I went to abc.com to see if the new season had begun and was shocked to find none of the episodes there. I'm very disappointed. I thought only Eli Stone, Life on Mars and Dirty, Sexy Money were toast. Ug. I will miss Boston Legal very much. Especially the last few minutes on the balcony. I always have a glass of something with Alan and Denny.

ManoDogs said...

I watched it all night tonight on ION - three hours straight. It was honestly the best thing on the entire (DirecTV) dial, period. I know the January "season" hasn't started yet, but there wasn't anything on Tuesday nights but Boston Legal before it got canceled - there sure as hell isn't anything on it now!

Fringe is okay, but lacks... something. I can't quite put my finger on it, so maybe it's just me.

At any rate, Denny Crane.

The Mouse Roar said...

I have my own twisted theory about the show's demise. Legal Censorship. How many times have we heard the jibes directed at the Supreme Court, Federal Government, etc. We have politicians in Illinois who would love to shut down some of our talk radio, so it would not suprise me in the least if some political power got p.oed and covertly got them shut down.

There is so much politics in Hollywood these days that it does not seem that unlikely.

ION, here I come!

Ben Gray said...

There seems to be an element of truth to the "Politics in Hollywood" comment. Not so long ago another wonderful and thought provoking show on ABC "Commander in Chief" with Geena Davis suddenly got cancelled, and was plagued with time slot problems. Seems any shows duscussing current issues or daring to question government policy have a limited life span

ManoDogs said...

Donnie Crane.

Senor Pagina said...

My wife and I look forward to Boston Legal more than any other show, and we do have a few other favorites; but this is high drama and witty comedy rivaling the best of the Brits. I can be busy with work and miss half the show and it is satisfying even to just catch the two closing arguements and Denny and Alan on their balcony. When my wife says "how did you do that?" in reaction to some cleverness, I say "Denny Crane" and she cracks up. Unlike other irreverent comedies this one is not irrelevant. The characters are endearing humans who touch your heart with their narcistic and pitifully fractured lives half the story who then come together in heroic sensitivity to their clients who face impossible odds struggling with real topical human problems and save them from it all.
What better television could one hope for? ABC, you suck!

CAROLE said...

KNOW AT TIMES THE DIALOGUE COULD GET A BIT RAUNCY..BUT IT WAS ALWAYS FUNNY FROM ALAN'S AND DENNY'S SLEEPOVERS..ETC ETC..BUT I LOVE IT MY HUSBAND LOVES IT..AND HE USUALLY HATES EVERYTHING ..EVEN ME SOMETIMES..BUT JUST TODAY FEB 4TH I FOUND OUT IT WAS CANCELLED..WHERE CAN I PICKET..I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN..AND ABSOLUTELY WAS MY MOST FAVORITE PROGRAM...DAMN IT ALL..FIRST COVER GIRL FINALLY TAKES AWAY THE ONLY SHADE I LIKED AND NOW TV HAS BEEN RUINED FOR ME WITH THE KNOWLEDGE I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WHISPER IN DENNY CRANES EAR......DENNY CRANE...PHOOEY

ManoDogs said...

Go to bed, you're drunk.

Mom? Go to bed!

marty said...

Why on earth did they cancel Boston Legal? It's the best show on television. We always looked forward to the new series. The stories were really funny but there was always a moral behind them. I introduced a lot of my friends to it and now they are all hooked they never miss an episode. The end when they sit on the balcony is absolutely fantastic it will be sadly missed. Please keep your fingers crossed tha they change their minds or someone else takes it up.

Anonymous said...

....any way to petition the re-instatement of Boston Legal?

Worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that another network picks this series up. It happened with Scrubs. I didn't even know Boston Legal was cancelled until, after waiting and waiting for the series to resume, I finally checked your blog. Spader and Shatner just "click." I'm very disappointed.

Fred said...

I am an American living and working in New Zealand Boston Legal is the highlight of my week. to say I was surprised to hear they were canceled would be wrong, they said many of the things big media and corporations do not want aired. To say I was disappointed would also be wrong because it is a gross understatement.
It is my hope to see it move to someplace like HBO where they are a "Fit". At any rate, I wish them all the best, it was a great show.

Dan Patterson said...

I am part of the baby-boomers who love this show. I hate shows with a message, but this one is great. Where you guys went wrong was when you let mark Valley go he added color to your show. while john laroquete is a good actor this show is not for him. the humor is gon and the show is black and white. Go back to the parade of pretty little girls and put mark in charge of the office. There is a tun of shows you could write with him trying to controle that mad house. Good luck Aron Patterson Fairbanks AK PS I'm a construction worker (spelling.)

yvonne said...

Maybe viewership dropped because of the preaching by Alan Shore. Believe it or not, there are still alot of conservatives out here that don't like being preached at constantly and for so long. I don't watch alot of TV, so I hadn't even heard of the show until about the 3rd season. I immediately fell in love with it, but the last two seasons it just had more and more preaching in each episode. Maybe too many viewers were turned off by the preaching. I know I was. I still watched it and enjoyed the parts in between the preaching, but it would have been so much better without it.

Scott said...

And maybe it's people like the above commenter who allowed this wonderful show to get canceled. Sure, I can understand that nobody wants to be "preached" at, but in a world of chronic apathy, sometimes it takes a certain person to stand up and having to yell at the top of their lungs to get some sort of reaction.

And nobody truly likes being in the situation where they have to get on their soap box. Every time we step on, we're admitting even more how much the world and society we live in is lacking.

So next time you find yourself thinking "man, that guy is too preachy" try to turn the tables and see if somebody else would be saying "wow, he/she just doesn't give a damn except for himself!"

It's that simple. (had to have a little Denny/Alan throwback)

Anonymous said...

I am an ultraconservative and Boston Legal was slanted heavily
toward the left but I loved that intelligent show.i guess it was to clever for the "great unwashed".

Sean said...

boston legal is one of the best shows on television. and im 19.

its clever, witty and actually intelligently written.

what kind of crap is happening in those US TV stations?!?!!?

pam said...

I really miss Boston Legal!! It was so well written and played. There is really nothing else worth watching! I miss Denny, Allen, Shirley, and ALL of the others!!!
I really wish some other network would continue this show. please...

Anonymous said...

My 14 year-old son and I just bought all of the seasons of BOSTON LEGAL at COSTCO. I didn't buy a converter box. Hmmmmmm does this mean I won't be watching all those commercials-does this translate in to a loss of $$$ for the networks? Oh, by the way, I also don't have cable! Boston Legal provided a variety of themes, because of that I strongly believe that it was viewed by a diversified audience and that includes us. I place it on the family list of shows to watch. Our selection of TV programs have been slowly phased out. I would buy a converter box if BOSTON LEGAL would be reinstated. As a family, we have decided, that our time can be put to better use, rather than forcing ourselves to watch programs we don't like. We are rediscovering dancing, hiking, movies, the library, beaches, and visiting more friends and family members. Last, concerts, music lessons, bike riding, gardening and even travelling this summer and buying a puppy in September! Loyalty, trust, and accountability are words not appearing to be found in the television producers vocabulary. They appear to be working in a vacuum and the only opinion that counts is their own!

Jr. said...

Denny Crain!

Marinos said...

I'm very disappointed! I'm Greek and through the shoe i've learned more about Americans than when i've visited the States. Denny & Allan have been responsible of giving me some really beautiful moments. I wish i could join them once in their balcony. Finally, Denny has succeeded to leave a terrific legacy, i will always remember him, mad cows and the firm!

Jr. said...

The same people who made "The Dukes of Hazzard" the number one show on television are the ones who failed to watch Crane, Poole and Schmidt.

Go figure.

Patricia said...

I am late to his discussion. I started watching reruns after Boston Legal was cancelled. It is wonderful. It made me (an avid reader and entreprenur that has very little respect for most of television) want to watch TV.

Anonymous said...

i am still in shock that boston legal has been canceled. i enjoyed the 5th season so much i cried and laugh at the same time. are you sure the ratings are sliding? no way hard for me to believe!

Beatb45 said...

I am in the over 50 group and I am sick of all the "reality shows" on television that allow idiots to get on television and expose their lack of common sense and decency to the general public. I would be ashamed to expose my stupidity and lack of general morals as these idiots do.
Boston Legal had fantastic characters on it and it was not only entertaining but also enlightening. Although it was primarily comic release I am certain many of the statistics and data discussed was legit. Not only did it entertain but also provoked thought as to many of the situations covered on it. I hated to see it end.

NataliaTS said...

I guess I'm a bit late on this one. I am a 28 year old male. I live in Canada. I thought this was one of the most brilliant shows to air. I'm tired of all the risque sexy shows on the air that lack the depth that Boston Legal had. I really do miss the show. The cast was brilliant. The issues that were discussed were so relevant in today's society. I realize that "Clarise" was a bit over the top. But there are individuals that do live alternative lifestyles. They also have the right to be represented on air (However they should be depicted a little more realistically.) It saddens me to think that even if David E Kelley does another show, it will not have Shatner or Spade. They made the show. Still hoping someone decides to resume production of this brilliant show or even make it a DVD only release. I would pay oodles to catch more episodes. Even in its dying moments, it never lacked passion and brilliance. If this show was cancelled over demographics, it only speaks to the lack of intelligence and sincerity in the younger generation of today. Rest in peace Boston Legal.

Stacy Fuller said...

I still miss Boston Legal today. You can't get a better legal show with all the comedy wrapped around it!

WarriorsRevenge Warriorsrevenge said...

Here it is, Jan 2014... and I just re watched every episode. It is amazing how accurate they were in predicting where our future was headed with Bush in office. They hit the nail on the head on nearly every issue and now we are living the results. The religious right in power, all the lies about the war, de regulation of so many important things, lifting the ban on assault weapons, "no child left behind" disaster, de funding our schools, on and on... and we are seeing what they predicted would happen in their arguments, (some called "preaching") and they were right on, dead accurate. Miss the show terribly, there was not one single bad episode.