From The TV Show Extra

    Monday, May 18th, 1998

    Ally McBeal Shocker!

    Ally McBeal. She dances with a virtual baby who represents her biological clock. She turns coffee drinking into foreplay. But on the May 18th finale, the TV lawyer is in for a big surprise.

    We can't show you what Calista Flockhart's character is gasping at. That's because co-star Courtney Thorne-Smith is having sex with her husband, revealing more than legal briefs.

    Says Greg Fagan from TV Guide: "You want something big for your last show, and there's nothing bigger than Courtney Thorne-Smith's butt." Fagan tells EXTRA the exposure marks a daring departure for Fox. Even though the network airs risqué shows like "Melrose Place" and "Beverly Hills 90210," it never aired a nude scene.

    But Ally didn't blaze the nude trail in prime time. Who could forget the steamy shower scene where Sharon Lawrence gets wet with Dennis Franz on a 1994 episode of Steven Bochco's "NYPD Blue." That show prompted a warning to viewers, but a Fox spokesperson tells EXTRA that the network isn't planning a special advisory for tonight's "Ally." TV Guide's Fagan says "Get used to it."

    Times really have changed. You may remember another taboo tackled back in 1972. An episode of "Bob Newhart" broke new ground, showing a couple in bed together for the first time on network television.