The new Fox series girls club, about three ambitious female lawyers, is getting some Saks appeal.
The David E. Kelley series -- which debuts later this month and aims to replace Ally McBeal -- has hooked up with Saks Fifth Avenue in an unusual deal to provide the right look for the show.
"This series features the type of customer the Saks Fifth Avenue brand speaks to -- young, intelligent, career-oriented women who are on their way to making it both personally and professionally," says Sheri Wilson-Gray, Saks' chief marketing officer.
This is the first time Kelley has linked one of his shows with a commercial property, and also a first for the department store.
This partnership is the first to come out of Saks' relationship with entertainment powerhouse William Morris.
Last spring, Saks hired William Morris Consulting to provide representation for the retailer within the media and entertainment industries.
The show, which features Gretchen Mol, Kathleen Robertson and Chyler Leigh, is about three young female attorneys determined to make a professional mark.
Scheduled to debut Oct. 21, "girls club" will occupy the former Ally McBeal hot spot Monday at 9 pm.
The show has been in production since August, so Saks clothes may not start showing up on the star until later in the season.
"This is just the beginning. There will be future things," said Michael Macko, spokesman for Saks Fifth Avenue.
"There's no exclusive at this point" requiring the show to use only Saks clothes, he said.
The short history of partnering department stores with television properties has had its rought spots.
Luxury-retailer Bergdorf Goodman entered into a partnership last year to be the official fashion authority for the Emmy Awards. The idea was to allow Bergdorf Goodman to provide fashion counsel to members of the television academy and run a suite of special services for bewildered stars to use in the days leading up to the awards.
Unfortunately, the awards were postponed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Once rescheduled, the awards ceremony was a much-lower key affair.
"It was the best concept with unfortunate timing," said a spokesman for the project.
To support the Kelley series' launch, Saks Fifth Avenue will be creating girls club windows displays in its New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco stores.
The retail chain has also created a girls club sweepstakes that will kick-off Oct. 17 and will be supported with in-store promotion and on saks.com, fox.com and in Saks' "Great Gifts" catalogue in November.