reality TV critic David E. Kelley is creating a legal reality TV show for NBC.

reality TV critic David E. Kelley is creating a legal reality TV show for NBC.
The Practice creator David E. Kelley, who called a “noted anti-reality TV crusader” and one of “the more outspoken critics of unscripted shows,” and who has called reality TV “trash” and “junk,” is a sell-out or a hypocrite or both. Along with the production company behind The Surreal Life, he’s producing an eight-episode legal reality TV show for NBC. He tells Variety, “It’s a documentary meets a drama. We’ll be creating our own law firm.” Variety says that the contestants “will then try real civil cases, taking advantage of what’s known as alternative dispute resolution–binding legal arbitration that takes place outside of actual courtrooms.” They’ll also be voted off the show week by week. Here’s how Kelley addresses his hypocrisy: “I was suspicious. I’m not a big fan of reality television, and I’m still not a big fan of those productions that pander to the lowest common denominator. (But) the folks at Renegade wanted to meet and discuss the series, and I loved the idea. … In success we should be as enlightening as we are entertaining. In failure, we’ll stink.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.