04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
David E. Kelley is picking up school books to go with his law journals. The phenomenally successful TV producer of "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal" is preparing to write and executive produce his latest show, "The Faculty," to debut on Fox this November. The one-hour program, says Variety, will be an ensemble dramedy about the staff of a New England high school. Kelley will initially create a pilot and first episode before he and the network make a final commitment to the series. Both Fox and Kelley could use a hit. The network is losing "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Party of Five" at season's end (there's a question mark hanging over "The X-Files," too), while Kelley slipped this season with the quickly canceled "Snoops" at ABC and the critically maligned, low-rated half-hour version of "Ally" aired briefly by Fox.