The followup to the beloved late ’80s-early ’90s series was first announced as being in development at ABC back in December.
In the new show, the venerable law firm of McKenzie Brackman reinvents itself as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high profile, boundary pushing and incendiary cases. Underwood reprises his role as attorney Jonathan Rollins, who 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.
Marc Guggenheim and Ubah Mohamed are writing and executive producing the pilot. Underwood will executive produce in addition to starring. Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the pilot via Anthony Hemingway Productions. Dayna Bochco and Jesse Bochco, the wife and son of the late “L.A. Law” co-creator Steven Bochco, will executive produce via Steven Bochco Productions. 20th Television will produce.
The original “L.A. Law” aired on NBC from 1986-1994 for eight seasons and 172 episodes. The show was both a critical and fan favorite, racking up 89 Emmy nominations and 15 wins throughout its run. Four of those wins were for best drama series. Along with Underwood, the series served as a starring vehicle for actors like Jimmy Smits, Corbin Bernsen, and Jill Eikenberry. At this time, only Underwood is attached to return.
The pilot order comes at an odd time of the year for a broadcast network, with most of the Big Four typically picking up pilots around the beginning of the year. However, ABC and other broadcasters have begun to break that cycle in the face of increased pressure from cable and streaming platforms, where development typically occurs year round. ABC in particular has been open in recent years about their desire to develop shows outside the traditional pilot season in what they have dubbed “second cycle.”