A&E rules in favor of Lumet court skein

Net also strolls down 'Centre Street'

NEW YORK — A&E and Sidney Lumet have joined the headlong rush of networks and producers to tackle TV series about the U.S. Supreme Court.

“May It Please the Court,” Lumet’s series, which A&E has put into script development, “will dramatize the arguments of some of the greatest cases decided by the Supreme Court, from the Dred Scott decision to the most recent ruling in the 2000 election of George W. Bush,” said Allen Sabinson, senior VP of programming for A&E.

A&E will build a single set on a soundstage in New York, a mockup of the Supreme Court, where all of the action will take place. Lumet will co-exec produce the series and direct some of the episodes. The first six scripts will draw on actual court transcripts, said Sabinson. David Black will be co-exec producer of “Court,” and Steve Rose will be the producer.

The deal for “Court” was the second piece of good news for Lumet from A&E, which ordered another 18 hourlong episodes of Lumet’s “100 Centre Street.” During February, “Street,” which stars Alan Arkin, chalked up a solid 1.6 primetime rating in cable homes in its Monday-at-9 timeslot.

The showbiz trend toward TV series about the Supreme Court includes ABC’s “The Bench,” which is talking to Sally Field to play one of the justices, and CBS’ “First Monday,” starring James Garner.

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