Three added to 'Boston Legal' bill


There are big changes happening at the law offices of Crane Poole & Schmidt.

John Larroquette has been tapped to join the cast of ABC's "Boston Legal" next season as a regular, while Christian Clemenson has been upped to regular on the show, from 20th Century Fox Television and David E. Kelley Prods. In addition, Tara Summers is joining as a regular.

Meanwhile, the options on four cast members -- Julie Bowen, Mark Valley, Constance Zimmer and Rene Auberjonois -- to return as regulars have not been picked up. However, it's understood there is a possibility that any of them could appear next season in a recurring or guest-starring role.

It's not the first time a Kelley series has seen a cast shake-up. For example, at the end of the seventh season of ABC's "The Practice," six major cast members were let go, and James Spader and Rhona Mitra came on board as regulars. The move, part of an effort to boost the show's ratings, paved the way for the "Boston Legal" spinoff.

As for "Boston Legal's" new cast members, Larroquette -- who won an Emmy in 1998 for a guest role on "The Practice" -- will portray a senior partner from the New York offices of Crane Poole & Schmidt who transfers to Boston. Clemenson will continue his role as Jerry "Hands" Espenson, a fellow lawyer and friend of Alan Shore's (Spader) who has Asperger syndrome. Summers will portray a young associate in the Boston office.

Larroquette, who won four consecutive Emmys in the 1980s for his supporting role on "Night Court," most recently has been starring in Hallmark Channel's mystery movie franchise "McBride." Clemenson, won an Emmy last year for his "Boston Legal" role, recently appeared in the film "United 93." Summers' credits include FX's "Dirt."

Production on the fourth season of "Boston Legal" starts June 27.

The series was created by Kelley, who executive produces with Bill D'Elia.