The character of the firm's office assistant, played by Jane Krakowski, was named Elaine Vassal. The word "vassal" literally means "one in a subservient or subordinate position, as in an assistant."
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During the third season, Fox executives heavily edited several season one and season two episodes of Ally McBeal into thirty minute episodes called "Ally". 13 episodes were edited in this fashion, with just about all courtroom scenes removed so as to focus mainly on the personal lives of the main characters and the various comedy-themed story lines at the law firm and the episodes airing out of order from their original sequence. After airing ten episodes, Fox canceled "Ally" do to extremely low ratings and shelved plans to sell the thirty minute version of the series into syndication.