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Zimmer, Bowen exit Boston Legal while Larroquette joins the cast

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 14th 2007 9:01AM

Bowen, Valley and Auberjonois will not return for next season's cast pictureOver the last three seasons Boston Legal has been known as a program with a pretty busy revolving door when it comes to cast members coming and going. Usually, though, it was some of the smaller fish in the pond that came and went like the wind. This time around some of the bigger fish have been given their walking papers instead.

According to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello Constance Zimmer, Julie Bowen, Mark Valley and Rene Auberjonois have been let go from the program. To fill the void, former Night Court actor John Larroquette will be joining the series as a regular, but not as the character he portrayed on The Practice. Instead, he'll be (another) attorney from the New York offices of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Also joining the cast will be Dirt's Tara Summers, who will play a young associate to the firm. Finally, much to some people's chagrin, Christian Clemenson, who portrays the quirky Jerry Espenson, will be promoted to series regular.

A few observations. Is it any surprise that Rene Auberjonois was let go? Out of all of the show's cast members he had the least to do. While he was part of a decent story last season he was quite inactive this time around. I'm also not surprised that Bowen and Valley are gone. I'm particularly glad that Valley is gone because his character (Brad Chase) was utterly annoying. I am a bit surprised that they let Constance Zimmer go. I liked her character, and thought her relationship with Clarence was cute. I don't think the producers of Legal gave her enough to show her stuff.

Now, is it just me or does Boston Legal have one of the oldest casts on network television? With John Larroquette joining, the average age of the four main players (James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, and Larroquette) is sixty-years-old. I don't have an issue with that, mind you. It's actually a breath of fresh air to see a show with older actors do so well in today's 'the younger, the better' age of television.

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the dave

I watch the show for Alan and Denny. They show the absurdity of things in our current society. Thumbing their noses (or whatever) at the standard rules of society. And why not? Our society is currently so off track - hijacked by crazy people who present themselves as normal. I find BL or at least A&D, acts as a fine mirror of current reality.

I dont care who plays the others, they're just filler between Alan and Dennys scenes for me.

September 01 2007 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rene's character really needs to be kept. "Paul" seems to be the one to keep everyone else in line to try to keep the firm credible. I agree with Rogphi, he does add much needed balance.

Zimmer's character needs to be kept too. She has good strength and fits in well.

Bad move to let these two go.

July 29 2007 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Need to define 'on par' with the other seasons. Heres the numbers:
season 1: rank#27 with 12.5million viewers
season 2: rank#46 with 10.3million viewers
season 3: rank#48 with 9.5million viewers

So what direction is it going in, again? down and down.
LOST 2 MILLION veiwers from season 1-2. Then nearly another 1million...the trend isnt looking real good here.
Historically, ABC doesnt like numbers like this. If season 4 doesnt turn around, its over. What a shame b/c like what i said and what was reiterated, people are interested in these characters. The 'revolving cast door' is going to find yet another show losing populatiry and getting the plug pulled. Dont forget that TV is still a business

June 30 2007 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The writing on this show is like a wonderful stew recipe. The characters are the ingredients and the spices. If one character is too strong, the whole stew is spoiled. They need to be equally strong and used carefully, not overused. The same with the plots. Most memorable moments from this past season include Jerry's return with a wooden cigarette clenched in his teeth. and his fabulous singing opening. Then there's Denny remembering himself as a young lawyer practicing with his father (Ralph Belemy) ~ BRILLIANT! This show has maintained a precarious balance between nonsense and topical issues. What DO we do about illegal immigrants? The task of keeping all the characters fresh and on their toes, presenting the public with a little something to "chew" on and providing a little comic relief cannot be as easy as David E. Kelley and his team of writers make it look. We are always entertained and enlightened and we can always forgive them an ocassional "lax" moment - too much Denny, not enough Brad. Too serious Shirley, too trivial Denise. Whatever we may find is not to our liking, we find so much more to be appealing.
We are sad to see characters dismissed (for whatever reason), because the writers and the actors' portrayals of them endear them to us. We see them as believable and, heaven help us, even though they're lawyers, we like them! :) So, we wish the departing characters a well written send off, some closure, and we look forward to the next season!
Thank you, David E. Kelley!
Chris & Sue

June 26 2007 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandy Scott

First of all, Boston Legal's ratings were on par with season two. Their viewership was more or less the same. The show has a loyal following and does well with the wealthy.

It is still the best written and funniest show on television. The Clarence character is the only one I wanted to see gone.

June 19 2007 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This Season was the worst for the show ever, worst ratings as well. People watch supporting cast members as well as the main characters. Losing Julie Bowen is a HUGE mistake. Its not her fault they didnt write anything good for ther this year. Rene's character is also essential to the show. John L - big deal. Not an addtion to the show. Sorry. Season 4 will likely be the last and the ratings and stories will prove it. The sad thing is that it didnt have to be this way- leave the characters on the show. Give it something to build on, like season 1 & 2. There has been a significant, progressive veiwer loss since season one. I can garantee that allot of it had to do with Tara leaving and the revolving cast door. How can you build a show if you keep tearing it down? Get new writers, not dismiss capable cast members. Ive been on several boards and there is overwhelming support for these characters to stay.

Are you listening, ABC?

Desperate housewives is in a decline, Greys anatomy is in a decline (you will lose allot of viewers over Washingtons leaving). I think things should be fresh but dont mess with a good thing when you have it. Its sad when the highest rated shows have CSI:name your city; you know why? They DONT jack around with their cast every year and they keep veiwers intrigued with their creativity, originality and familiarity -even when you know everyone knows the plot. Hey, hire me id write some good stuff for the show and help bring it back to the forefront of must watch TV.

June 18 2007 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phillip Fowler

You can just about count life as a lawyer on BL episode by episode, unless of course you're 1 of the 4 - I mean 3 main characters.

Sally, Lori & Tara within the early series I liked. Yet their roles were short and sweet, while Brad (The 'Zepo' within a firm of Marx Bros) just seemed to hang on in there series after series. He was long overdue and just didn't seem to fit in.

Paul was great as the 'straight' senior partner. He was a reminder that there was a serious side to the business. Not always going to be effective, but never the less an important character role for BL. He will be missed.

Denise I liked, although I liked Constance more. It's a shame that Constance's role will never really get a real chance to get off the ground. She had great potential.

Jerry's an interesting character, who has grown with statue. I like the battle of wits between him and Alan. John Larroquette? I don't know - I have a job trying to think of him as being serious.

As for the writers - please don't start off series 4 like you did with the end/beginning of series 1 & 2. There were more holes between those 2 episodes than in my vegetable strainer. I couldn't help but feel cheated. Don't let history repeat. Let the stories flow.

June 16 2007 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Walley

Adding John Larroquette: Big win!
Letting Bowen and Valley go: Big win!

Making Espinsen a regular: Big mistake!

Letting Rene Auberjonois go: Big mistake and a big loss to the show! Time to reconsider, Boston Legal.

June 14 2007 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like Clarence, he / she is the only good new person. The woman and the guy that already left were useless. Same with season 2. The two lower level people were useless to the show. The only one I'm mad about leaving was season 1/2 the british woman, she was different.

None of these charaters are important, that said I hope they keep these new people around. I like shows that have 4-5 main charaters and several side charaters but it seems Boston Legal has 15 main charaters and then just phase them in and out.

Write these charaters good ending Mr. Kelly, hopefully they will be shown.

June 14 2007 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave T.

Well this year's new players stunk. Clarence, his girlfriend, the other guy who left I'm forgetting his name, the one who had the hots for Shirley and almost was Bowen's baby's daddy. They all stunk. Renee was a great foil to the absolute crazyness that is Denny and Alan. But perhaps Schmidt now is that foil alone. How can someone not like Jerry? That singing intro had me rolling.

June 14 2007 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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