Kelley All Over The Tube

By TYLER McLEOD -- Calgary Sun

BANFF -- Next television season, David E. Kelley will be responsible for no less than five weekly network shows.

The credit "Created by David E. Kelley" will pop up during Ally McBeal, The Practice and Chicago Hope. Add to the list now Snoops, a hi-tech detective serial, and Ally, a half-hour version of his primetime phenom.

"I've never considered myself a hitmaker," Kelley says. Somebody must, though.

The Practice was last year's Rockie winner for Best Continuing Series, while Ally McBeal was this year's Best Comedy Series. He was also awarded the 1999 Astral Award for Excellence yesterday by the Banff TV Festival.

"When you look at past winners, such as Steven Bochco and others who have contributed so much to the medium, it's a little hard to fathom," Kelley said while accepting the Award for Excellence.

This is Kelley's first time attending the Banff fest in person, although his work has been honoured here before.

Furthermore, his upcoming feature film Mystery, Alaska was shot in Canmore, while Lake Placid (due in July) was made on the other side of the Rockies in B.C.

"Both stories needed beautiful environs and I think when you say that in a script, location managers suggest (the Canadian Rockies) pretty quickly -- you can see why if you look out the window," says Kelley, in Banff with wife Michelle Pfeiffer.

Kelley admits the odds of the public embracing all five of series this year with similar fervour are unlikely.

"I'm a realist. I know the odds."

Despite pledging a renewed interest in Chicago Hope and nurturing two new creations, his focus will continue to be on The Practice and Ally McBeal.

"I love to keep writing that character and (Ally star) Calista (Flockhart) deserves much of the credit," Kelley says.