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'The Practice' producer David E. Kelley attempts reality the law way

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MUMBAI: After the successful sitcom Frasier came to a close US broadcaster NBC has started betting big on the reality genre.

A few days ago it had announced plans for a reality show which will see a winner living a glamorous life in New York. Now it has announced another reality show featuring a pack of lawyers.

The show is the brainchild of award winning producer David E. Kelley The Practice , Ally McBeal . He will serve as the executive producer. In India the two above mentioned shows air on Star World.

This represents the producer's first move away from traditional fare into the alternative arena. The eight-episode show will feature competitive legal eagles vying to propel their careers to the next level. Each week, the competition will be narrowed down until one person emerges victorious. The project has yet to be named.

Interestingly Kelley used to practice law. He switched careers and his track record in American television of producing one hit show after another is said to be second to none. The Practice recently completed its eight year run in the US. This led to the spinoff Fleet Street with James Spader and William Shatner.

NBC Universal Cable Entertainment president Jeff Gaspin had the following remarks to make about the initiative. "Having David Kelley on board on any series is a major get for any network. But to have him focus his immense talents on a reality series that is very close to his own experience is truly exciting."

Kelley added, "I remain fascinated by the law, and this will be another franchise set in that arena. This time however, the attorneys, clients and cases will be real. In success, we should be as enlightening as we are entertaining. In failure, we'll stink."

The series is being produced by Renegade Productions and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox Television. This writer wouldn't be surprised if the show came to Star World in the future.

Fox however appears to have got a head start as far as innovating on the law genre is concerned. The broadcaster is debuting a new law series The Jury on 8 June in the US. What is unique is that the show will be interactive in nature.

The audience can vote as to whether the party is guilty or not. Every week, as the episode unfolds, wireless subscribers can text-message their assessment: G for guilty or N for not guilty to the short code 36988 (FoxTV). The poll results will be revealed on air as the episode comes to a close. Shortly after that viewers will come to know as to whether they differed from or agreed with the jury's scripted verdict. The final scene will reveal how the crime actually took place.

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