‘Ally McBeal’ sequel with a new lead in ABC’s work – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Exactly two decades since David E. Kelley Ally McBeal wrapped up its five-season run on Fox, the Emmy-winning legal comedy-drama starring Calista Flockhart is preparing to return with a sequel series, which is in early development at ABC, I learned.

Written and produced by Karin Gist (Mike), I hear the new show will follow a young black woman who joins the law firm of the original series (or its current incarnation) straight out of law school. The young woman is believed to be the daughter of Renée Raddick, roommate of Ally McBeal (Flockhart), who was played by Lisa Nicole Carson in the Mothership series.

I hear Flockhart was approached to reprise her title role from the original in some capacity and to produce the sequel. A decision on his potential involvement likely won’t be made until a script has been written.

Kelley created and produced by management Ally McBeal through its overall deal with 20th Television which had its David E. Kelley Productions function as a mini studio, giving the prolific producer greater leverage in exploiting existing intellectual property. I hear Kelley was made aware of the idea and gave his blessing for the follow up. Since the new show is focusing on a new character who is a black woman, I hear Kelley felt it was unnecessary and graciously stepped aside out of respect so Gist could tell the story of this character. There are currently no plans for Kelley to be involved in the sequel, which Ally McBeal 20th Television studio, part of Disney TV studios, produces. Gist serves as showrunner and executive producer through his production banner, The Gist of It, alongside the company’s executive vice president, Claire Brown.

Representatives for ABC and 20th TV declined to comment.

20th TV executives were looking to bring back Ally McBeal in one form or another for years; efforts were stepped up after Disney’s 2019 acquisition of Fox’s assets, including 20th TV, fueled by how the show’s DNA fits lightly into ABC’s core brand of character dramas feminine. I hear the takeover of Gist was very well received across the board, leading to the land being sold to ABC for development.

The configuration of the Ally McBeal the follow-up calls back to the next NBC night yard sequel series, which also introduces a new main character (Melissa Rauch) who is the daughter of a character from the original series and has the lead, John Larroquette, reprising his role alongside her.

Ally McBeal, which aired on Fox from 1997 to 2002, starred Flockhart as Ally, a lawyer working at the Boston law firm Cage and Fish with her ex-lover and wife, and followed the trials and Ally’s lifelong tribulations as she searched for love and fulfillment. The primary focus of comedy-drama was the romantic and personal lives of the main characters, often using legal proceedings as a plot device.

The series won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1999, one of seven Emmy Awards, and a host of other major accolades for its run. Ally McBeal was known for its strong ensemble cast, led by Flockhart and featuring Courtney Thorne-Smith, Greg Germann, Carson, Jane Krakowski, Peter MacNicol, Gil Bellows, Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi as well as musician Vonda Shepard who is became famous on the Show. Additionally, the series gave Robert Downey Jr. one of his first major roles after his 1990s legal troubles en route to his return to a successful career in Iron Man.

Ally McBeal transcended television to become a pop culture phenomenon and spawn memes before memes existed with its infamous dancing baby. It remains influential two decades after its end, with She-HulkThe creative team of recently listed comedy-drama as inspiration for its Marvel series.

Gist is among the top creators/showrunners on 20th TV’s global offerings list. Under the pact, she is executive producer and showrunner of the new Mike Tyson limited series. Mike for Hulo. She co-created, produced and presented the Fox series our kind of people and served as executive producer and showrunner on the ABC comedy mixed.

Previously, Gist served as executive producer and showrunner of Fox’s Star for seasons 2 and 3. Prior to that, she was co-executive producer on ABC Grey’s Anatomy from 2015-17. Additional writing and production credits include WB/CW A hill of trees, show time house of lies and ABC Revenge. His film writing credits include Disney’s camp rock and Camp Rock 2, jump in and the VH1s Drumline: A new rhythm. She is replaced by Adventure Media and Joel McKuin.

Kimberly B. Nguyen