It's the Law
David Kelley went from real-life lawyer to TV lawyers. Now NBC has signed him to an eight-episode reality series, his first "alternative" effort. Kelley's forte has been dramas, particularly legal dramas, including Ally McBeal, The Practice, and new Practice spinoff, Fleet Street—all for other networks. Kelley earned his chops on NBC's L.A. Law. The yet-untitled project will feature lawyers vying to move up the career ladder. If it sounds vaguely familiar, Fox has slated a reality show, The Partners, about aspiring lawyers competing for a job at a prestigious law firm. It airs Sunday nights at 9 this fall.
Crime in Prime
CBS has tweaked its Saturday-night fall schedule to keep the crime flow. Its new lineup is The Amazing Race at 8 p.m., followed by Crime Time Saturday at 9 p.m. and 48 Hours Mystery at 10 p.m.
Crime Time Saturday is an "anthology of encores" of CBS dramas, a series of reruns from previous seasons of CSI, CSI: Miami, Cold Case and Without a Trace.
Tribune and MGM are teaming up to develop the MGM theatrical hit Legally Blonde into a syndicated weekly hour for TV. The series, targeted for a fall 2005 launch, will be produced and distributed internationally by MGM, which will also handle domestic cable distribution. Tribune will handle domestic broadcast distribution. The series follows Elle Woods, "Bel Air's favorite pink-clad blonde, and her equally stylish Chihuahua, Bruiser." No word on casting or deal points.
Sony Syndicates in Style
Sony's syndicated pop-culture talker Life & Style is a go for fall. Ray Giuliani has been named executive producer. The show has lined up key clearances, including KCAL Los Angeles, WCIU Chicago, KYW Philadelphia, WBHK San Francisco, and WBZ Boston. Even without a New York clearance, the show will be seen in more than 90% of the country, including 17 of the top 20 markets and 47 of the top 50.
The House Commerce Committee gave a thumbs-up to a bill that would renew, through 2009, satellite-TV carriers' right to import out-of-town network feeds to subscribers who don't get a decent signal from their local broadcast affiliates. It would also give satellite companies a year to phase out their controversial two-dish policy. At present, subscribers need two dishes to see all the broadcast stations that satellite companies are required to carry.
Police Thrown Curb Ball
A Los Angeles man jailed for five months on murder charges was released, in part, due to HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. The guy was taking in a baseball game with his daughter at Dodger Stadium around the same time the murder took place. As it turns out, Curb was taping an episode at the game and caught him on camera. The police dropped the charges.
Gannett affiliate WTSP Tampa, Fla., does not air a 7 p.m. newscast as reported in the Close Up on the station group [5/31, page 20].