The whole idea of “the end” is a quaint and virtually meaningless one these days, given the endless stream of TV reboots, spinoffs, and sequels.
Two current cases in point: “L.A. Law” and “Night Court.” Both were hits decades ago, and both are apparently being given new life.
Deadline is reporting that ABC is developing a sequel to “L.A. Law” that will star Blair Underwood, reprising his role as attorney Jonathan Rollins. The entertainment-industry website also reported that a sequel to the sitcom “Night Court” is in the works at NBC, with John Larroquette slated to once again portray jaundiced prosecutor Dan Fielding.
Co-created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, the original “L.A. Law” (1986-94) ran on NBC and was one of the best dramas of that era, crackling with timely social issues, fast-moving story lines, and vivid personalities.
In addition to Underwood, the original show’s stellar cast included Jimmy Smits, Susan Dey, Corbin Bernsen, Harry Hamlin, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Larry Drake, Richard Dysart, and Alan Rachins. One member of the writing staff was a young David E. Kelley, who would later go on to create “The Practice,” “Ally McBeal,” “Big Little Lies,” and, alas, “The Undoing.”
Bochco died two years ago. His son, Jesse, and widow, Dayna, are involved in the “L.A. Law” sequel, according to Deadline, which reports that the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman has been remade as a litigation firm that handles mostly “incendiary” cases (the latter part sounds a lot like the first iteration of the series, frankly). Grown more conservative with age, Rollins finds himself at odds with a millennial colleague on “the best path forward for the firm to effect political and legal change.”
“Night Court” (1984-92) was probably most notable for Larroquette’s Emmy-winning performance as the reprobate Dan. Harry Anderson played the eccentric Judge Harry T. Stone, who presided over the night shift at a Manhattan courtroom loaded with quirky characters. (Anderson died two years ago.) According to Deadline, the sequel will focus on Harry’s daughter, Abby Stone (no word on who will play her), who follows the path trod by her father and also sits on the bench in a Manhattan courtroom — and who also has to cope with Dan.
Interestingly, it was Melissa Rauch of “The Big Bang Theory,” a fan of “Night Court,” who initiated the project. Rauch will executive-produce but not perform in the “Night Court” sequel. And when the inevitable “Big Bang Theory” sequel is announced years from now? I guess we shall see.