Candice comes back to TV

NEW YORK (AP) – Candice Bergen is joining her first prime-time TV series since “Murphy Brown,” this time as a cast member of ABC’s “Boston Legal.”

Bergen will join “Boston Legal” stars James Spader and William Shatner. She’ll play Shirley Schmidt, a founding partner of the show’s law firm.

In the early “90s, the actress won five Emmys and two Golden Globes for her performance on “Murphy Brown,” a sitcom about a single mom in the television news business.

“Boston Legal,” a David E. Kelley-created spin-off of “The Practice,” focuses on the lives of high-priced civil lawyers at an upscale Boston law firm.

Both an ABC spokesperson and Bergen’s publicist confirmed this week that Bergen will be a full-time cast member, though she is also to appear as a judge in the new installment of the “Law & Order” franchise, “Trial by Jury.” Bergen already has filmed her three-episode arc for that show, which is scheduled to air in spring 2005.

Bergen’s first episode with “Boston Legal” is planned for Jan. 9. The show airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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