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TV producer David E. Kelley disses reality TV (again) ...then admits wife Michelle Pfeiffer watches it

By Wade Paulsen, 07/17/2003 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Boston Globe reports that David E. Kelley, creator of such past TV hits as L.A. Law, Picket Fences and Ally McBeal, took another shot at reality TV and the networks that air it during the recent Hollywood press tour. Said Kelley, whose ABC show The Practice was crushed in the ratings by Fox's Joe Millionaire and avoided cancellation only by dumping six of its top stars, "'Now, they put their trash on. . . . They celebrate the junk. As long as they can get high ratings, they will do it. Where once they were ashamed of it, now they'll throw a parade for themselves. And that's probably where my frustration has been growing.'' This isn't the first time Kelley has attacked reality television, in March he wrote an episode of The Practice in which a crazed woman abducted CBS President Les Moonves in an abssurd quest for a reality program of her own.

One way to interpret Kelley's view of the world is that networks should air low-rated shows that no one wants to watch. A more charitable view would be that viewers should turn their backs on the "trash" of reality TV programming. So who are these reality TV fans that Kelley is trashing for not seeking out his self-proclaimed "television shows . . . that we're proud of"? The Salt Lake Tribute notes that one of them is in Kelley's own household: his wife, actress Michelle Pfeiffer. As Kelley told the story:

""I put on Joe Millionaire because I wanted to see what it was. I was sitting at home, and my wife was reading a book next to me, and I put it on, and she looked up about 10 minutes into it and said, 'What are you watching?' I said, 'You know, it's the competition against The Practice. I would at least like to know what it is.' About 10 minutes after that, I picked up the remote to change the channel, and she said, 'Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! I want to see if that b-tch comes back!'"

We would like to inform Mr. Kelley that, when even your wife would prefer to read a book or watch a show other than yours, your problems run deeper than "an erosion of respect for the medium by its guardians."

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