'Boston Legal' promotes its time slot move... during an episode
Didn’t get the memo that Boston Legal is moving from Tuesdays at 10 p.m. to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. starting on April 30? No worries. David E. Kelley’s ABC drama is including a jokey nod to the schedule change in the final moment of the April 22 episode, and will follow it up with a 30-second scene that kicks off the April 30 episode, in which Denny Crane (William Shatner) and partners are startled to learn that the weekly firm meeting is shifting from… Tuesdays at 10 to Wednesdays at 10. (Check out a video of the scene after the jump.) “The network will let people know we’re moving, but we couldn’t help but also deal with it the way Boston Legal deals with things — by turning it into a little scene,” says Legal exec producer Bill D’Elia. “It’s irreverent, fun, and inside baseball… We stay in character and treat it like, ‘If you get it, you get it, and if you don’t, you don’t.’”
Of course the series has dabbled in meta-gags before, whether it’s a character humming the Boston Legal theme song or musing, “These past few years I’ve felt this inexplicable compulsion to be someone redeeming, as if I were some regular on a TV show.” (“We’ve broken the fourth wall so many times that we have to go find the fourth wall in storage to even use it any more,” quips D’Elia.) Creative do-it-yourself promotion can’t hurt, considering that the move means the series loses its mammoth Dancing With The Stars lead-in. “If we had our druthers, I think we’d rather stay where we were on Tuesday night,” he says, “but the network game is the network game.”
Right now, the Legal team is more focused on earning a renewal for the fall: The drama, which averages 9.9 million viewers per episode, remains on the bubble. “We expect a decision by the first week in May,” D’Elia notes, “and we feel pretty good about what we’ve done to prove our case.” Pun intended, we presume.