Ten-time Emmy-winning writer/producer David E. Kelley is likely to return to the Emmys this year with two high-profile television projects: Amazon’s legal drama “Goliath” which already earned a Golden Globe for star Billy Bob Thornton, and HBO’s acclaimed limited series “Big Little Lies” with A-listers like Reese Witherspoon. Both programs have the potential to reap multiple acting nominations at the 2017 Emmys. And if you’re an actor, having Kelley’s magic touch behind you could be the quickest way to snagging that coveted trophy. Click through our photo gallery above to see the 30 different performers that have David E. Kelley to thank for their Emmy victories.
Kelley began his television career as a writer on Steven Bochco’s hit legal drama “L.A. Law” in the mid 1980s. After Bochco left the show, Kelley became the executive producer, winning three Emmys for Best Drama Series as well as back-to-back statues for Best Drama Writing. After leaving “L.A. Law,” Kelley went on to an unprecedented streak of Emmy-winning hits: “Chicago Hope” (7 wins), “Picket Fences” (14 wins, including 2 for Best Drama Series), “Ally McBeal” (7 wins including Best Comedy Series), “The Practice” (15 wins, including 2 for Best Drama Series), and “Boston Legal” (5 wins). In 1999, both “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice” won their respective series races, making Kelley the only writer/producer to take home Emmys for both Best Comedy and Drama Series in the same year.
However, it is Kelley’s actors who have reaped the biggest benefits of his writing at the Emmy Awards. To date, 30 actors — ranging from Hollywood legends to veteran character actors — have won a combined 38 Emmys for their work on shows produced and/or written by Kelley. This is especially evident in the Drama Guest Actor category, which boasts 10 Emmy victories from Kelley-produced shows, including five consecutive years (1998-2002) where the category was won by actors appearing on “The Practice.”
While Thornton is the most likely nominee for Amazon’s “Goliath,” particularly after his Golden Globe victory, HBO’s “Big Little Lies” could earn multiple acting nominations for stars Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard, each of whom have strong potential Emmy submissions. Will David E. Kelley help lead any of these performers to take home their first Emmy statue?
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