Ally McBeal

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Ally McBeal
Ally McBeal-title.jpg
Premiere September 8, 1997
Finale May 20, 2002
Creator David E. Kelley
Network FOX
Style 60-minute drama / comedy
Company David E. Kelley Productions,
20th Century Fox Television
Seasons 5
Episodes 112
Origin USA

Ally McBeal is a program about a young female attorney who gets hired by the law firm in which her childhood boyfriend works and finds out he is now married. This show differs from the other law firm centric show produced by David E. Kelley during the same time The Practice in that it focuses more on the characters' lives and relationships and is less realistic, which leaves the writers much more freedom.

The show is set in Boston MA on the two last floors of a building on 14 Beacon Street. It is a law firm called Cage & Fish, started by John Cage and Richard Fish whose main goal in life is earning as much money as possible.

Ally McBeal is a young and a little crazy lawyer. Right after being fired from her previous employer she gets hired at Cage & Fish and meets her ex-boyfriend and first love ever Billy Thomas. She soon meets Billy's wife Georgia Thomas and discovers she still has strong feelings for Billy. This triangular relationship is the center of the plot until the middle of the third season, where Billy dies.

Besides that main story, each episode has a theme regarding Ally's or the other characters' lives or the cases they defend in court. Themes vary from fun and lighthearted (first date/kiss, loosing the spirit of Christmas, size of men's penises) to grave ones (death, mental illness or handicap).

The show received many famous guests during its five years on air, like Barry White, Al Green, Tina Turner, Barry Manilow and Sting. Music plays an important part in the show, as Ally often hears some in her head and John Cage uses Barry White's music to motivate himself in court and in bed.

In the fourth season, Robert Downey, Jr. was brought in to play Larry Paul, Ally's new love of life, to revamp the ratings but got fired before the end of the season. A lot of new characters were introduced during the fifth and last season in the hope of rescueing the audience but the Fox eventually decided to discontinue the show, which lead to a beautiful finale, Bygones.



Actor Character Duration
Main Cast
Calista Flockhart Ally McBeal 1 2 3 4 5
Courtney Thorne-Smith Georgia Thomas 1 2 3 4 5
Greg Germann Richard Fish 1 2 3 4 5
Lisa Nicole Carson Renee Radick 1 2 3 4 5
Jane Krakowski Elaine Vassal 1 2 3 4 5
Vonda Shepard Vonda Shepard 1 2 3 4 5
Portia de Rossi Nelle Porter 2 3 4 5
Lucy Liu Ling Woo 2 3 4 5
James LeGros Mark Albert 3 4
Robert Downey, Jr. Larry Paul 4 5
Regina Hall Corretta Lipp 4 5
Julianne Nicholson Jenny Shaw 5
James Marsden Glenn Foy 5
Josh Hopkins Raymond Milbury 5
Hayden Panettiere Maddie Harrington 5
Peter MacNicol John Cage 1 2 3 4 5
Gil Bellows Billy Thomas 1 2 3 4 5
Season numbers in red indicate a recurring or guest role in that season.
Supporting/Recurring Cast
Albert Hall Judge Seymore Walsh 1 2 3 4 5
Renee Goldsberry The Ikettes 1 2 3 4 5
Vatrena King
Sy Smith
Eric Cohen The Dancing Twins 1 2 3 5
Steve Cohen
Dyan Cannon Judge Whipper Cone 1 2 3
Jesse L. Martin Dr. Greg Butters 1 2
Gina Philips Sandy Hingle 3
John Michael Higgins Steven Milter 4 5
Taye Diggs Jackson Duper 4
Dame Edna Everage Claire Otoms 5
Jon Bon Jovi Victor Morrison 5


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 8, 1997 May 18, 1998 23
Season Two September 14, 1998 May 24, 1999 23
Season Three October 25, 1999 May 15, 2000 21
Season Four October 23, 2000 May 21, 2001 23
Season Five October 29, 2001 May 20, 2002 22


DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Complete Series
The Complete Series October 6, 2009 31 + 1


Season Sets
The Complete First Season October 6, 2009 6


The Complete Second Season April 6, 2010 6


The Complete Third Season October 5, 2010 6


The Complete Fourth Season October 5, 2010 6


The Complete Fifth Season October 5, 2010 6


'Best Of' Collections
Ally on Sex and the Single Life January 11, 2000 2

External Sites