Although David E. Kelley continues to churn out television shows at a rate that makes even Dick Wolf envious, it’s been quite some time since one of his series captured the Zeitgeist the way he did in the late nineties. But now, after a career which has seen him create shows for every network but NBC, the impeccably eyebrowed Ben Silverman has managed to convince the prolific Kelley that the Peacock Network is the home for him to recapture his former glories. And while Kelley’s new lawyer-themed dramedy, Legally Mad, isn’t set to debut until next fall, the series is already making waves with the news that the virtually unknown British actress Charity Wakefield has been cast in the lead role. You might remember the last time Kelley went with a virtual unknown lead in a quirky show about lawyers. So, the question is this: What are Charity Wakefield’s chances of becoming the next Ally McBeal?
Well, on the glass-half-full side of things, Wakefield will have the good fortune of working with Kelley, who is well regarded for his ability to pen strong female characters. And although we haven’t seen her work as Marianne Dashwood in the most recent BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility in anything other than a few YouTube fan clips, she does seem to radiate a sense of charm and familiarity in the way that reminds us more than a little of Drew Barrymore. Then again, to her detriment, the show is launching on NBC, which means there’s a very good chance the show could be framed between two hours of Ann Curry and two hours of Donald Trump. Hmmm, you think there’s any chance she does a killer Sarah Palin impression?