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David E. Kelley Likes Stirring the Pot

ByABC News via logo
November 3, 2006, 4:31 AM

Nov. 3, 2006 — -- David E. Kelley wants you to scream.

He wants you to bang your fist, shout your political, social, religious views at your complete opposite, and let them do the same.

Kelley is one of the most prolific writers and producers in the history of television, with a career that's spanned two decades, and produced a bevy of critically acclaimed shows and a cabinet full of Emmys.

Yet with his latest endeavor, the smash hit "Boston Legal," Kelley is using his characters to spread a message -- one that's pretty left by any righty's point of view and that's also idealistic and unapologetic.

It is a message that, by taking current hot-button issues and putting them front and center for his team of fictional lawyers, seems to take on a society, that in Kelley's eyes, shuns the notion of speaking out and mixing it up a little bit.

Yet through the deep bond between his troublemaking, idealistic lefty lawyer Allan Shore (played by James Spader) and his aged, crazy, friend of the right Denny Crane (portrayed by William Shatner), Kelley also wants us to know that we can all disagree, and we can all get along.

"If an issue isn't going to succeed on an entertainment level, we will usually pass on it. Beyond that, if we can be provocative on an intellectual or social level as well, than all the better," Kelley said in an interview with ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

Aside from screaming about an issue, Kelley said using real-life issues also tended to resonate with people more, give viewers more to take away.

Kelley usually sends in his social warrior Allan Shore to take on the establishment.

He is a liberal and a constant winner who seems to take on any issue with a fire in his belly. Shore also seems to have a love of trouble and a voice that seems to speak for the masses that share his views and frustrations.

"I think there is a town-crier component to this series," Kelley said. "There's also a town-crier component of Shore's personality, and I think this show probably, I guess, is a reflection of me a little bit, has a scream in its belly and sometimes it just feels it needs to scream."