David E. Kelley

He certainly is prolific, and will probably have begun and finished an Ally McBeal script by the time this sentence reaches right about…here. "He never comes on the set," says Kathy Baker, who starred in his Picket Fences. "He likes to just write." But greatness is not a race, and what defines David E. Kelley best is his eagerness, his need, his ability to use 60 minutes of television as a means of addressing issues others will not touch and to devise humor others cannot imagine. On top of that he combines the two and, in so doing, moves TV drama to the next level, to something relevant and required. In McBeal, in L.A. Law, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope and The Practice, he has taken the hottest debates of the time -- legal, ethical, religious, sexual -- given them human faces and played them out in ways that clarify issues without ever necessarily resolving them.