If you remember a time when Corbin Bernsen was TV’s ultimate sex symbol, think of Harry Hamlin as more than just a recurring character on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or get all hot and bothered when someone mentions “The Venus Butterfly,” we have great news: L.A. Law is coming back!
As Deadline reports, ABC has ordered a pilot for a sequel to the hit legal drama, which will see Blair Underwood reprise his role as attorney Jonathan Rollins, as well as serve as an executive producer. The series, according to Deadline, will center around “the venerable law firm of McKenzie Brackman reinvent[ing] itself as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high-profile, boundary-pushing, and incendiary cases. Underwood’s Jonathan Rollins 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.”
The Emmy-winning series, which ran for eight seasons between 1986 and 1994, was a precursor to the era of prestige television that got its start in the late 1990s. Co-created by über-producer Steven Bochco, the legal drama may seem tame by today’s standards, but it dared to address such topics as abortion, racism, homophobia, AIDS, and capital punishment at a time when no other TV show would even sniff around such taboo subject matter. It also provided some now-famous stars, including Bryan Cranston, Kathy Bates, Steve Buscemi, CCH Pounder, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, and Stephen Root, with some of their earliest TV gigs. The series also helped to make Underwood a household name, when the acclaimed actor—who was then just 23 years old—joined McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak in L.A. Law’s second season.
The new series, which has been in development since December, will be partly overseen by the late Bochco’s son, director/producer Jesse Bochco, and his widow, Dayna Bochco, who will executive produce the show. Bochco the younger mentioned the project during a virtual TCA panel, noting that: “We are working with brilliant, brilliant people and I think we’re going to get it to the world.”