CBS’ ‘All Rise’ Turns Lens On Legal System, Inclusion & The Occasional Judicial Pratfall – TCA

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All Rise EP Greg Spottiswood said the inspiration of the new CBS drama came from the Steve Bogira’s book Courtroom 302 and how it was told through the multiple perspectives in the courtroom.

Speaking at TCA about the show’s initial vision, Spottiswood said: “It was driven by the idea that the justice system was built for and meant to serve the client. That’s what came together in my head with my love of ensemble drama and broadcast television. I love big-tent ensemble dramas. I thought we’d bring these two things together and bring a new lens to the judicial system.”

He added, “We wanted to create a show where a judge can do a pratfall and still speak from her heart and fight for justice.”

The series follows the dedicated, chaotic, hopeful and sometimes absurd lives of judges, prosecutors, and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal system. Simone Missick, Wilson Bethel, Jessica Camacho, Marg Helgenberger, J. Alex Brinson, Lindsay Mendez,  and Ruthie Ann Miles star.

Missick joked Thursday that she enjoyed the scripted pratfalls but said she signed up for All Rise because her character isn’t the type usually depicted on broadcast television.

“[Judge Lola] is a woman we have not seen on TV in this kind of role,” she said. “When we see judges they are normally in the back of our legal system. This character is a woman who is vulnerable, flawed and still handles her emotions.”

Miles Michael Buckner/Shutterstock

Missick bemoans the unrealistic roles women are given in television and believes the audience will relate to how humanized the characters are on the show.

“We see all of these beautiful women on TV, women of color, women of all shapes and sizes in this cast, beautiful women of all different backgrounds — and yet the way that all of us women are, you know, all of us people are, we are flawed.  We go to the bathroom. … And I’m tired of seeing perfect characters on TV. So I think that people will relate to the imperfections of Lola and everyone else in this cast.”

Adding to the show’s commitment to diverse representation, Miles plays Missick’s judicial assistant. “I think audiences will be able to relate to Sherri because she is a strong personality; she’s passionate; she’s task‑oriented; she likes to things to get done. And she’s Asian‑American, and she doesn’t speak with an accent, just like me.”

All Rise will air at 9 p.m. Mondays in the fall, following Bob Hearts Abishola.

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