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How David E. Kelley Might Help Save "Chuck"

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 5, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 5, 2009 |

I hate David E. Kelley. Sure, some of his shows have been decent-to-good (“Girls Club,” please stay in the fucking corner). But his best days seem long behind him. However, none of his bad shows are why I hate the man.

See, his middle initial is E. My middle initial is E. He’s goofy looking with crap hair. I’m goofy looking with crap hair. He went to Boston University School of Law. I went there too. He wrote and performed in the school’s annual Legal Follies. I wrote and performed in Legal Follies. He’s made scads of money creating TV shows and has been married to the still-spectacular-looking Michelle Pfeiffer for over 15 years. I … yeah, that’s why I hate him.

But I may soon love him again. Yesterday, as we talked about, NBC announced some of its fall programming, but the word is still out on whether “Chuck” is coming back. I also noted that David E. Kelley’s new show, “Legally Mad,” was nowhere to be seen, but likely to eventually land on the schedule because of the penalty NBC must pay if it doesn’t pick up the show.

Well now things get interesting. Nikki Finke has reported (and take this with a huge grain of salt, since she’s the one who said, over the weekend, that a “Chuck” renewal was already done) that the fate of the two shows may be intertwined. Seems that NBC don’t like “Legally Mad.” But they also don’t want to pay the hefty $2 million fee to Warner Brothers that they’re on the hook for if they leave the show in the dumps. And there’s the rub, because “Chuck” is also a Warner Brothers show. So, apparently, the Peacock is hoping to get the WB to agree to a little tit-for-tat, a “forgive us our $2 million penalty, and we’ll bring ‘Chuck’ back” swap.

So first of all, good on ya, Kelley, for sucking. And second, let’s turn some of our good-mojo-thoughts the WB’s way, and see if they can’t help get this thing done.

And if you think that we’ve been talking about the fate of “Chuck” a lot on the site, you’re right. Dustin and I are both in sync in thinking that “Chuck” and “The Unit” are the two most consistently solid network shows out there. And I dunno about him, but I’d be willing to let every other hour-long network show take a long walk off a short pier if it meant ensuring more of “Chuck” and “The Unit.”

(Oh, and for the record, NBC confirmed that “Life” is … uhm, dead. Sorry to those of you that were fans.)

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Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.