''Boston Legal,'' Sam Mendes, and Christina Aguilera made news this week

Once Boston Legal ends its run with a Dec. 8 series finale, Emmy-winning writer-producer David E. Kelley won’t have a series on TV for the first time in at least two decades. But fortunately, there’s some good news for fans of his irreverent dramedies: NBC recently scooped up his latest script — about an aging lawyer and his adult daughter who work together at a Chicago firm — for a potential fall ’09 premiere. ”It’ll feature a cauldron of eccentric characters,” Kelley tells EW. ”It’s much more of a comedy than some of my other shows. Some of the [touches] will remind you of Boston Legal and Ally McBeal, but it won’t be an issue- or case-driven show. It’s about the comedic relationship.” Meanwhile, Kelley just turned in the final script for Legal, a series he never thought would make it past a couple seasons, much less five. So what’s the story? Could rule-breaker Alan Shore (James Spader) finally lose his job? ”Yes…and no,” says Kelley. ”That’s not a big part [of the ending]. It’s a small component that pays off a little bit in the last couple of episodes.” And what about ongoing hints that Denny’s (William Shatner) mad cow disease could turn into a full-blown battle with Alzheimer’s? ”We will get into it a little bit, but whether we resolve it, I’m not telling,” adds Kelley, who says this series ender is one of the very few he’s written in his career. (He wasn’t there for the last bows of L.A. Law, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, and Boston Public, and he never felt like The Practice ended because it spun into Legal.) ”This one feels like a finale,” promises Kelley. ”There are no nuclear devices that blow up — but if executed properly, this one could be my favorite. It will be satisfying.” — Lynette Rice

Hallelujah! Preacher has found a new home at Sony Pictures. Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) will take a stab at making a movie version of the super-subversive comic-book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, now that HBO has abandoned its longtime plans to create a full-on series adaptation. Given the massive box office success of Warner Bros.’ bleak Batman entry The Dark Knight, the timing seems right for audiences who want to get caught up in the supernatural tale of a sexy, foulmouthed, chain-smoking cleric who is imbued with the word of God and battles an all-powerful religious society. — Nicole Sperling

Even though HSM3 is the biggest thing on the planet right now, you should remember this name — Fame. Filming will start soon on a remake of the 1980 musical charmer. ”It’s not that far off from the original,” says Lauren Christy, whose production team the Matrix (Britney Spears) is composing new tunes. Sadly, EW has learned that the beloved finale ”I Sing the Body Electric” has morphed into a three-act opus called ”Hold Your Dream.” But ”Out Here on My Own” — sung by star Naturi Naughton, who also plays Lil’ Kim in the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious — is back, as is the seminal title track. Production execs on the film (to be released in fall ’09) say ”many high-profile artists” have inquired about rerecording the Oscar-winning classic, so we asked Christy, who’s not involved with that track, for her top three choices: ”Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, or Ashley Tisdale. I’m quite a fan of Ashley’s. She’s just a real star.” — Shirley Halperin

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