On the Boston Legal Cast Shake-Up

Here’s the word from Boston-Legal.Org, the place for Boston Legal goings-on:

“Rene [Auberjonois] has learned that he has been released from the cast of “Boston Legal.” According to what he was told, his character, “Paul Lewiston,” has been discontinued, as have the characters played by Julie Bowen, Mark Valley, and Connie Zimmer. Two new characters (one male, one female) will be introduced to the show when the new season begins in the fall….


I learned about this on a bulletin board, and the reactions were, largely, “Waaa!” Mark Valley and Julie Bowen leaving? That’s sort of okay–they haven’t done much lawyering this year on Boston Legal, if they’ve done any (and come to think of it, I don’t think they really have). But Auberjonois and Zimmer? There seems to be more people up in arms over those two.

My word of advice?

Get over it.

Boston Legal is a David E. Kelley show. And long-time David E. Kelley watchers will tell you that they are basically a revolving door when it comes to casts. Of his shows the one that ran the longest–The Practice–also had the most stable cast over its run. But shows like Chicago Hope and Ally McBeal? Revolving cast door.

It’s how David E. Kelley works. If he’s interested in the character, he’ll write the character. If he’s not interested in the character, he’ll replace the character and see if the new character catches his attention. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes he ends up creating redundant characters, and then they just up and vanish. (Yes, I’m still annoyed at the disappearance of ADA Alan Lowe, as played by Ron Livingston on The Practice way back when.)

I can’t say I’ll miss Denise Bauer and Brad Chase–the characters portrayed by Bowen and Valley. I liked them, they amused me, but at the end of the day I don’t need them. Auberjonois’ Paul Lewiston, though? I’ll miss Paul, but truthfully, he didn’t have a lot to do this season. Last season there was the plot arc with his daughter Rachel, a recovering drug-addict, and granddaughter. I hoped for some follow-through this season with that storyline–I’ve always had a soft spot for the actress Jayne Brook–only it never emerged. Zimmer’s character? Well, I liked her, but I’m okay that she’s leaving.

Within the show, it’s not inconceivable that these characters left to go to a different office. Zimmer’s character came from the New York office, for instance, so she could well go back. Perhaps Paul Lewiston decided to retire. Perhaps Denise and Brad want to spend time with their new child. Reasons can be found. Not inconceivable.

Since people drop by all the time wanting to know why Monica Potter and Rhona Mitra left Boston Legal, I imagine they’ll start looking for information on Julie Bowen, Constance Zimmer, and the rest now, too. Mark my words–it’s the David E. Kelley revolving cast door. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

4 thoughts on “On the Boston Legal Cast Shake-Up

  1. ridiculous. julie bowen is good. its the writers fault for not giving her or marks character more. they were all over season 2 and the ratings were higher. if abc doesnt over rule this, season 4 will be the last for this show. ratings will plummet. abc has a low tolerance for anything under 10million veiwers and season 3 barely made it and left allot of people dissapointed. they need to get back to how it was it season 1 & 2 or its over. they need to keep these get rid of shirleys character (yes) bring back tara. think back to season 1. tara left. shirley showed up and ratings fell. candice is just not a draw for the show. 3 reasons people watch this show – the over the topness of alan shore the chicks and denny crane.

  2. ABC won’t overrule the decision to replace half the cast of Boston Legal, nor is the show in any real jeopardy. Why? BL may not be winning its timeslot, but it pulls a decent rating (and beats L&O:SVU in reruns) and it pulls an upscale demographic. As far as ABC is concerned, the show is as successful as they need it to be. It’s in no danger of cancellation.

  3. Shows how much you know, Allyn, BL was cancelled after season 4 and D.E.K. had to beg for season 5.
    Claire leaving DIDN’T make sense considering her bf is still on the show. Plus, her attitude is missed.
    BL turned into a parody of itself in season 4.

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