Monday night has quickly developed into the David E Kelley night as the superstar writer/producer has two of the hottest shows in television in Ally McBeal (World, 10pm) and The Practice (World, 11.16pm). Both shows have been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards each, giving the 41-year-old former Boston attorney virtual carte blanche to do whatever he chooses. Kelley, who is married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer, is known for his workaholic tendencies. He writes nearly every episode of Ally McBeal and The Practice himself, about 40 shows a year and all by longhand on yellow legal note pads. On average, most Hollywood script writers would write about three shows a season. Kelley takes about four days to finish a script, two if everything is going well. It is his power which has saved Chicago Hope from being cancelled. After creating the series five years ago, Kelley departed from the medical drama along with the early series' star, Mandy Patinkin. The show then went into a slow decline with plot lines so daft it was often impossible to follow this once excellent programme. Kelley returned to the show last May, writing the season finale which led to the return of Patinkin, albeit on a part-time basis. Their return also meant the overnight exit of series stars Christine Lahti, Peter Berg and Jayne Brook. Veteran actresses Barbara Hershey and Lauren Holly (from Picket Fences, an early Kelley creation) have been added to the cast and with its strong script writing the show once again looks ready to challenge ER. However, it is unlikely to garner the ratings of Ally McBeal, currently one of the most popular shows in the world. The press has had a field day speculating on the weight of series star Calista Flockhart, creating publicity for the show on a massive scale. Regardless of her slight proportions, the series combines well-crafted dramatic story lines with some good laughs making it an enjoyable hour of television. Tonight's episode sees Ally experiencing strange feelings for an 18-year-old student who is in court to testify against a woman who is accused of having unlawful sex with him as a 16-year-old. Tracey Ullman guests. On The Practice, Bobby (Dylan McDermott) is summoned to an apartment where a city councilman lies dead. The always excellent John Larroquette (Night Court ) guest stars in this repeat episode. Hong Kong director Wayne Wang's Blue In the Face (Pearl, 10pm) is an interesting concept as it was shot immediately after the filming of Smoke and completely improvised. Like Smoke, the film centres around Auggie Wren's (Harvey Keitel) cigar shop and although it is often a bit uneven, the film is worth watching for the cameo appearances of Madonna Lou Reed, Jim Jarmusch, Michael J Fox, Roseanne Barr and Mira Sorvino.