David Edward Kelley (born April 4, 1956) is an American screenwriter and showrunner. He created Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal, Harry's Law and Monday Mornings, and co-created Doogie Howser, M.D. with Steven Bochco. Most recently, he's become known again for adapting Stephen King's Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch) for television, assisted by King himself as executive producer and Game of Thrones alum Jack Bender as director.
Married to Michelle Pfeiffer.
Tropes common to David E. Kelley's work include:
- Creator's Pet: Invoked. Kelley is not ashamed to sideline old characters in favour of new ones. A good example would be Alan Shore on The Practice. James Spader received last billing in the opening credits but he was essentially the de facto lead for the last season, overshadowing all of the more established characters.
- Crossover: Most of Kelley's shows have crossed over with at least one other. As a result, pretty much all of his shows take place in the same universe/continuity.
- Reclusive Artist: According to a few of his actors, he's painfully shy and prefers to stay in the proverbial shadows.
- Write What You Know: Kelley was a lawyer before becoming a professional writer.