Celeb lawyer will go to TV 'Extreme'
Trial lawyer Mark Geragos is taking on a new case: reality TV.The man who’s repped everyone from Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson to Winona Ryder has pacted with Stone & Co. Entertainment to star in an unscripted hour dubbed “Extreme Justice.” Skein will give everyday people the chance to have their civil cases taken on by Geragos, making the show a sort of primetime “People’s Court” with big-name lawyers. Indeed, “People’s Court” creator Stu Billett will be a consultant on the show. Scott Stone, Sharon Levy, Howard Lapides and Geragos will serve as exec producers. Each hourlong self-contained episode will feature the usual elements of a big civil court battle but played out in a TV courtroom. Geragos will face off against other top lawyers who’ll rep the opposing side in the case, giving the show a competitive angle. The winning lawyer will get a cut of the actually settlement. Stone & Co. will begin pitching “Extreme Justice” to broadcast networks and select cable outlets today. Idea for the show came to Stone about 18 months ago. “I was thinking, everything else is being supersized — why can’t you take the court genre from daytime to primetime?” Stone said. “When you look at four ‘Law & Orders’ and three editions of ‘CSI,’ everyone’s interested in crime and court cases. This is a perfect jumping-off point.” Stone said Geragos was his top choice to star in the potential skein. “He’s extremely good on television, and he knows how to do both big celebrity cases and represent the average Joe on the street,” Stone said. Levy said “Extreme Justice” will “have all the trappings of a big scripted legal show,” with a courtroom that looks more like a David E. Kelley set than a typical civil courthouse. Episodes will follow all aspects of a case, from the first lawyer consultation to jury deliberations and the verdict. Stakes also will be high, with six-figure verdicts ranging up to $500,000. As in daytime courtshows, plaintiffs and defendants will agree to waive a real civil trial in order to have their cases heard in a TV court. Stone worked with Billett on the original “People’s Court” and said the producer “knows more about the court genre than any other human being.” In addition to his numerous clients, Geragos has been a legal commentator for “Today” and “Good Morning America” and has received the trial lawyer of the year honor from the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Assn. Stone & Co., currently pitching a musical competition show with Babyface, is behind skeins such as GSN’s “American Dream Derby” and “The Mole” franchise. WMA packaged “Extreme Justice.”