David E. Kelley on 'Harry's Law' cancellation: 'It's still hard to make sense of that'
The NBC legal drama that earned title star Kathy Bates an Emmy nomination had its loyalists, many of whom haven't given up on the show returning in some form. Creator and executive producer Kelley has a new project -- his TNT medical series "Monday Mornings" is a collaboration with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that premieres Monday, Feb. 4 -- but he understands and appreciates the "Harry's Law" mourning.
"There a lot of things I think we could have done better with that show," Kelley tells Zap2it, "but it's still hard to fathom that we were their top-rated scripted show ... or close to it, depending on whose data you look at. It was either us or 'Smash.' That it wasn't good enough because our viewers were too old, it's still hard to make sense of that.
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"My feelings are compounded by the fact that I so loved working with Kathy," 10-time Emmy winner Kelley adds, "and I really miss her. She's just a terrific talent, but the show had a bumpy ride from the beginning. We were bought by one administration at NBC, then that changed, and we were sort of thrown away at midseason with no promotion. And we survived."
Largely because of that, "Ally McBeal" and "Boston Legal" mentor Kelley had hopes that "Harry's" would lay down the law longer: "We thought, 'OK, well, maybe we've turned that corner,' and we were disappointed when that didn't happen. But that's television.
"We all know the game we're in. It's that 18-to-49 demo, and if you're going to write a show that skews older, you'd better be prepared to get 'licked,' as it were. So, we'll take our licks and move on."