David E. Kelley Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Earnings

David E. Kelley Net Worth 

David E. Kelley has an estimated net worth of $250 million. David E. Kelley is an American television writer and producer known for such series as L.A. Law, Ally McBeal and The Practice. He earns most of his income from television and film production. 

David E. Kelley began writing for L.A. Law before leaving in 1992 to launch his own series, Picket Fences. By 1999, he had established himself as the king of prime time television. During the 1999-2000 season, he appeared in five different series. Kelley also achieved the rare feat of winning Emmys for both outstanding drama series and outstanding comedy series for his work on The Practice and Ally McBeal in 1999.

To calculate the net worth of David E. Kelley, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: David E. Kelley
Net Worth: $250 Million
Monthly Salary: $1 Million
Annual Income: $20 Million
Source of Wealth: Lawyer, Television producer, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Writer

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Early Career

David Edward Kelley, born in Waterville, Maine, in 1956, majored in politics at Princeton University, where he also served as captain of the ice hockey team. His father coached the Hartford Whalers in the NHL and later became the president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kelley attended Boston University Law School after graduating from Princeton in 1979, where he earned his J.D. in 1983. He was a real estate and minor criminal defense attorney at the Boston law firm Fine & Ambrogne.

But the energetic Kelley found practicing law to be somewhat boring, so he began writing a screenplay for a movie in late 1983. In 1986, he optioned the screenplay and hired an agent, who forwarded Kelley’s script to Steven Bochco, a TV producer looking for legal-minded writers to work on his new drama series. Bochco met with Kelley and was so impressed that he hired the young lawyer as the show’s story editor. Kelley moved to Los Angeles, California, after taking a leave of absence from his job at Fine & Ambrogne.

Breakthrough Series

Though his first film, From the Hip (1987), about an ambitious young lawyer, was only moderately successful, David E. Kelley’s work for L.A. Law, which premiered on NBC in the fall of 1987, quickly gained him recognition. Kelley quit his job in Boston after a year because the show was a hit. At the start of the 1987-88 season, he was promoted to executive story editor and began working his way up the producing ladder. Kelley was named executive producer after Bochco left to develop shows for ABC at the end of the show’s third season. In addition to producing, he also wrote the majority of the show’s episodes.

L.A. Law won Emmys for outstanding drama series in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and Kelley himself won Emmys for writing in 1990 and 1991. He also collaborated with Bochco on the creation of Doogie Howser, M.D., which debuted in 1989.

In 1992, Kelley left to create his own CBS series, Picket Fences. The quirky series, set in the fictional small town of Rome, Wisconsin, received critical acclaim, including back-to-back Emmy nominations for best drama series in 1993 and 1994. Kelley wrote more than 40 one-hour episodes in a single season between Picket Fences and his next creation, the medical drama Chicago Hope, which premiered in 1994.

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Personal Life

David Kelley stepped down from both shows in 1995 to spend more time with his family. In March 1993, he married actress Michelle Pfeiffer and adopted Claudia Rose, whom Pfeiffer had previously adopted on her own. John Henry, the couple’s son, was born in 1994. During his hiatus from television, Kelley wrote and co-produced his second feature film, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996), starring Pfeiffer. The film was met with mixed reactions.

Primetime Success

Kelley’s next two TV shows, ABC’s The Practice and FOX’s Ally McBeal, both focused on law firms in Boston, but with very different perspectives. While The Practice focused on the gritty day-to-day operations of a group of criminal defense lawyers, Ally McBeal followed a stylish, impossibly neurotic female lawyer and her colleagues at a wacky, high-fee law firm. The Practice began slowly after its premiere in the spring of 1997, but went on to win the Emmy for outstanding drama in 1998. Ally McBeal, which premiered in the fall of 1997, was an instant hit with viewers and catapulted Calista Flockhart, who played the title character, to stardom.

Kelley became the undisputed king of primetime television in 1999. During the 1999-2000 season, he was involved in five series, including Ally, a new half-hour version of Ally McBeal made up of previously unused footage from the first two seasons, and Snoops, a sexy private-eye drama that was panned by critics but received surprisingly good ratings. He also had a larger role in the reimagined Chicago Hope. Kelley achieved the rare feat of winning Emmys for both outstanding drama series and outstanding comedy series for his work on The Practice and Ally McBeal on September 12, 1999.

Kelley’s other recent series include Boston Public (2000-2004) and Boston Legal (2004-2008), both starring James Spader and William Shatner.

Further Reading

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