James Spader has agreed to star in David E. Kelley's spinoff of legal drama The Practice, which ends its eight-season run on ABC in May.
Next season, Spader's character, Alan Shore, will move to a high-priced civil law firm after having been fired as a defense attorney at the Boston law firm of Berlutti, Frutt & Young. The new show will also air on ABC.
What remains unclear is which of The Practice's other characters/cast members will join Spader. The current plot line would suggest Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra); Jamie Stringer (Jessica Capshaw) and, perhaps, Ellenor Frutt (Camryn Manheim), though given show creator Kelley's penchant for odd twists and turns, he could be throwing in a red herring or two.
Last spring, Kelley jettisoned much of the show's high-priced cast after ABC cut its license fees in half. Spader was brought in to star and helped revive the show's ratings.