They hold hands, they have sleepovers, and they clearly love each other. They are Denny Crane and Alan Shore, characters on the ABC drama Boston Legal and arguably the highest-profile male bonders on prime time TV.
That’s why it came as a surprise to some staffers at Boston Legal producer David Kelley Productions when a an April 9 Nightline segment on “Bromances,” like the Hollywood friendship between Gossip Girls’ Chace Crawford and former N’ Sync-er J.C. Chasez,” failed to include the ABC show duo. Instead, it plugged TV friendships in shows no longer on network TV and never on ABC.
Nightline described a Bromance as “nothing amorous, just another way to describe two guys who like to hang out. A lot. Among the Hollywood set, some good buddies seem attached at the hip. But this unabashed male bonding may hold more advantages than friendship: It can also be a networking tool, and a haven from the spotlight’s glare.”
Given not only the natural fit of subject and series but the inclination for media companies to cross-promote their shows at every opportunity, that description sounds like a gilt-edged invitation to excerpt an ABC show that features a Bromance for the ages. Apparently not.
Nightline producers instead picked clips from ex-NBC shows Seinfeld (the Jerry and Keith Hernandez “Boyfriend” episode) and Friends, but nothing from Boston Legal’s weekly “Romeo and Julius” balcony scene, where the two lawyers profess their platonic but powerful love in shared philosophies, cigar puffs, toasts and hugs, if not in couplets.
Boston Legal could have used the exposure. At press time, the show had yet to be picked up for a new season. An ABC source confirmed there had been no official pickup, but said that did not signal any disaffection with the critically acclaimed show. ABC picked up some shows early, but doesn’t plan on making any more pickup announcements before its May 13 upfront presentation to advertisers, said a source, adding: “The schedules are still being worked out.”
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.