"Practice" Spinoff Beams Up Shatner
The priceline must have been right.

William Shatner, onetime Captain James T. Kirk and current Priceline pitchman, will be a full time member of The Practice's spinoff next season.

Messages left with ABC were not returned.

Shatner first appeared last Sunday on the exiting ABC law series as legal bigwig Danny Crane hired to represent Alan Shore (played by James Spader) in a no-sarcasm-barred suit against Young, Frutt & Berluti, the firm around which the Practice revolved.

The Practice closes the books forever next month after a bumpy but Emmy-winning eight-year run, which included last year's fire sale firing of six cast members, including the show's original star, Dylan McDermott (news).

But, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Shatner's role will carry over to the new law drama that David E. Kelley is dreaming up to showcase the talent of Spader, who has been such a hit as the witty, amoral Shore.

Spader's character will reportedly join the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, which is expected to include English-born Fay Masterson (news) as a fiercely competitive rival to Shore and Lake Bell (recently Victoria on Miss Match) as a nave law grad. They will be introduced to audiences in the final episodes of the Practice.

When honored recently by the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles, Shatner told fans that Crane, "seems like a buffoon, but in the end, he's always kind of smart. He can do anything he wants because he's Danny Crane."

During that tribute Shatner was described as "a vital presence on American television for over 50 years." He joked in response, "So many years. It's like in one era and out the other."

Canadian-born Shatner, who turned 73 this week, has a TV career that goes back to the days of live drama in the 1950s, but he has also performed Shakespeare plays in Stratford, Ontario, and starred on Broadway as Robert Lomax in The World of Suzie Wong.

Besides his success as Capt. Kirk in the '60s TV series and subsequent movies of the space adventure Star Trek, he played the veteran cop who was the title character of the mid '80s drama series T.J. Hooker.

But his only Emmy nomination came for a 1999 guest-starring role as The Big Giant Head in the goofy alien sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.

© by By Bridget Byrne, source (Thank you, Sulena!)

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