David E. Kelley takes case to nets

Sets up legal drama project with Warner Bros. TV

David E. Kelley is staying on the legal beat with a new series project.

The Emmy-winning creator of ABC's "The Practice" and Fox's "Ally McBeal" has penned a spec script for Warner Bros. TV, where he set up shop in May after more than two decades at 20th TV.

The project, an hourlong legal drama, is being taken to the broadcast networks this week with CBS and NBC as primary targets. Both nets are said to be very high on the show, which is expected to fetch a significant commitment.

Kelley is said to have a great relationship with CBS, where he most recently created the critically praised but short-lived drama "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H." His previous CBS series include medical drama "Chicago Hope" and the Emmy-winning "Picket Fences."

At NBC, he worked on the Emmy-winning "L.A. Law."

Kelley is wrapping production on the final 13 episodes of the ABC legal dramedy "Boston Legal," his spinoff from "The Practice."

With the departure of "Boston Legal," fledging ABC supernatural drama "Eli Stone" will be the only representative of the classic legal genre on broadcast TV.

The genre's presence is much stronger on basic cable with FX's acclaimed thriller "Damages" and TNT's courtroom drama "Raising the Bar," which hails from Steven Bochco, who collaborated with Kelley on a couple of series, including "L.A. Law."