By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 29, 2003 02:44 PM

The verdict is in. Many TV columnists warned that ABC’s shift of “The Practice” from Sunday nights to Mondays might adversely affect its ratings.

And it did. And creator-executive producer David E. Kelley isn’t too pleased, reports Variety.

The Emmy-winning legal drama, starring Dylan McDermott, Michael Badalucco, Kelli Williams and Camryn Manheim, entered its new 9 p.m. Monday timeslot on extremely shaky ground, placing a distant fourth and being roundly beaten by FOX’s “Joe Millionaire,” which hit another high.

Discussing ABC’s moving his show, Kelley told the trade paper on Tuesday, “They’ve killed it with one fell swoop … It didn’t make any sense when they announced it; it seemed like a death sport.”

“Today, some of us look smarter and some of us don’t. I would hope (ABC) would act in their own self-interest and put it back where it was doing well,” he went on to say.

ABC Entertainment Television Group chairman Lloyd Braun, acknowledging that “emotions are running high right now,” countered that it remains too soon to tell what how the show will do in the long run on Mondays, and pointed out that “Joe Millionaire” winds up in three weeks.

“But,” counters Kelley, “no matter how low you set the bar of intelligence for ABC, they manage to slither under it. It’s folly to try to guess what’s in their heads because that would start with the presumption that there’s something (in them).”