Deadline in December broke the news that ABC was developing L.A. Law, a new incarnation of the Emmy-winning Steven Bochco series, with Blair Underwood set to reprise his role as attorney Jonathan Rollins and executive produce.
The project, written/executive produced by Marc Guggenheim and Ubah Mohamed, and executive produced and to be directed by Anthony Hemingway, has been moving very slowly through the decision-making process at the network. I hear the script has been written and everyone is waiting for word from ABC on green light for the show.
During a TCA virtual panel for another Disney reboot of a Steven Bochco series, the upcoming Disney+ comedy Doogie Kamealoha M.D., his son, director/producer Jesse Bochco sounded optimistic about L.A. Law‘s chances. (Jesse Bochco, who played a key role in putting the L.A. Law revival together, and the late producer’s widow, Dayna Bochco, are also executive producers.)
“We are working with brilliant, brilliant people and I think we’re going to get it to the world,” he said.
I hear there is pressure for ABC to make a decision soon as a number of the key creative auspices, including Underwood and Hemingway, have been approached for other projects and can’t stay in limbo for much longer.
In the sequel, the venerable law firm of McKenzie Brackman reinvents itself as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high-profile, boundary-pushing and incendiary cases. Underwood reprises his role as Rollins, who has gone from idealistic to more conservative as he clashes with millennial JJ Freeman to decide the best path forward for the firm to effect political and legal change.
“We have a fantastic director-producer in Anthony Hemingway and a marvelous writer, Marc Guggenheim, who came to us on L.A. Law,” Dayna Bochco said today. “The amount of respect and knowledge, in this case Marc Guggenheim could actually name the number of the episode… We’ve been very privileged, very lucky, and I just know Steven’s looking down on us going, ‘go kids, get it done.”
Created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, L.A. Law ran for eight seasons on NBC, from 1986-1994, followed by a reunion movie in 2002. The show was set in and around the fictitious Los Angeles-based law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. Many of the cases featured on the show dealt with hot-button issues such as capital punishment, abortion, racism, homophobia, sexual harassment, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence. Underwood joined the cast in Season 2 and remained on the show until its end, earning a Golden Globe nomination.
L.A. Law won 15 Emmys throughout its run, including four for Outstanding Drama Series.