Looking Back on David E. Kelley’s History-Making Double Emmy Wins 20 Years Later

  • Variety
Looking Back on David E. Kelley’s History-Making Double Emmy Wins 20 Years Later
David E. Kelley thought there’d been a mistake. On Sept. 12, 1999, the prolific showrunner was backstage at the Shrine Auditorium, having just accepted the best drama series Emmy for “The Practice,” when he heard his name called again.

Kelley immediately figured that the producers were summoning him out again to take the award away from his ABC legal drama and give it to “The Sopranos,” the HBO series that had skyrocketed like a pop culture comet in its first season. “Sopranos” had been the heavy favorite to win the Emmys’ top prize that year, given the intensity around the show.

But there was no mistake. Kelley was ushered back onstage because Television Academy voters decided to make history by handing him a second big win, the comedy honor for his Fox series “Ally McBeal.” Kelley is the first and to date only producer to command the Emmy Awards for best
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