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Night Court Revival - Everything You Need To Know

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"Night Court" is almost back in session. The original NBC series aired from 1984 to 1992, where it earned multiple Emmy nominations, including four best supporting actor wins for John Larroquette. The series was set during the night shift of a Manhattan municipal court, which was frequented by a cast of eccentric characters, such as the pompous prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette) and the optimistic, magic-loving Judge Harry Stone (the late Harry Anderson).

With the series finale airing over 30 years ago, NBC called the courtroom sitcom back up to the bench. The new "Night Court," starring Larroquette and "The Big Bang Theory" alum Melissa Rauch as Judge Abby Stone (daughter of Harry), debuted on NBC on January 17, 2023. New installments aired weekly, with Season 1 wrapping up on March 14, 2023. But what did this revival have in store for both new and old "Night Court" fans? Read on for everything you should know about the new "Night Court."

What was the plot of the Night Court revival?

The original "Night Court" was full of eccentric characters, but the heart of the show was Harry Stone — the upbeat judge with a fondness for magic. Sadly, actor Harry Anderson passed away in 2018, but his spirit will remain with the series, as it will focus on his daughter, Judge Abby Stone.

NBC's official plot synopsis describes Abby as "unapologetically optimistic." Of course, she might find her positive attitude challenged in the titular night court. As the plot synopsis says, Abby follows "in her father's footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding."

The relationship between Abby and Dan served as the crux of the show, as the judge summons the arrogant now forlorn former DA to switch sides and work as the court's new public defender. Workplace plots centered on the conflict between Dan's cynicism and bitterness and Abby's cheerful, idealistic worldview.

Who starred in the Night Court revival?

Judge Abby Stone not only presides over her courtroom, she also sits at the center of the "Night Court" revival. The NBC plot synopsis describes Abby as someone who "always sees the best in people, and her passion for justice is undeniable." So who will play this cheerful champion for truth, justice, and the downtrodden? Well, Abby Stone will be portrayed by Melissa Rauch, best known as Bernadette Rostenkowski from "The Big Bang Theory."

John Larroquette — who won four Emmys for the original show — returned as Dan Fielding, the incredibly narcissistic prosecutor turned public defender. Rounding out the cast, India de Beaufort ("Slumberland") played Assistant District Attorney Olivia, a woman who can't wait to move on to better things. Lacretta ("Second Act") portrayed Donna "Gurgs" Gurganous, a bailiff who takes her job very seriously. Finally, Kapil Talwalker ("Zooey's Extraordinary Playlist") is court clerk Neil, who likes keeping a low profile and enjoys the court's low bar for what's expected from him — a bar that gets raised pretty darn high after Judge Abby Stone shows up with her big ideas.

As for guest stars, Variety reports that we'll see "Saturday Night Live" alum Melissa Villaseñor,  Pete Holmes of "Crashing," character actor Kurt Fuller, Stephnie Weir of "Mad TV," Lyric Lewis of "A.P. Bio," and and figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. Plus, Faith Ford of "Murphy Brown" appeared as Abby Stone's mother.

Who produced, directed, and wrote the Night Court revival?

According to JoBlo.com, Melissa Rauch was the driving force behind the "Night Court" revival, as she absolutely loves the original show. In addition to starring, Rauch is executive producing, alongside her husband, screenwriter Winston Rauch, and creative mind Dan Rubin. (John Larroquette is also serving as a producer.) Rubin — best known for his work on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" — penned the pilot script, which was directed by Pamela Fryman (via Deadline). Fryman has a ton of sitcom experience, directing episodes from "Frasier," "Two and a Half Men," and almost all of "How I Met Your Mother."

How are critics and audiences responding to the Night Court revival?

Demonstrating enduring goodwill toward the original "Night Court," curiosity about the reboot, and a significant following for former "The Big Bang Theory" star Melissa Rauch, the revival of the 1984 to 1992 sitcom debuted huge for NBC. The first two episodes, airing back to back on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, attracted 7.39 million and 6.75 million viewers, respectively, according to Variety. That's the best premiere for a broadcast comedy in years, ranking with NBC's "Will and Grace" reboot in 2017 and ABC's "The Conners" in 2018. Ratings fell with each successive broadcast, according to TVLine, with the Season 1 finale garnering a still significant 3.4 million viewers.

Moderately popular with viewers, the new "Night Court" made a similar impression with critics. The show earned a 73% score on Rotten Tomatoes. "The show does a good job of feeling familiar yet fresh," wrote Sara Morrison of Vox. Kyle Fowle of TV Guide felt that the show started rough but hit its stride. "Over time, 'Night Court' finds its footing, fleshing out its characters and developing a more successful, funnier rhythm that pays homage to its predecessor."

Will there be a second season of the Night Court revival?

If you're like most TV viewers, you've loved revisiting the wacky world of "Night Court." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first episode was viewed by 7.55 million people — those are extremely impressive numbers. The follow-up episodes have all done pretty well too, so with those stats, you better believe "Night Court" has been renewed for Season 2. While we don't have a firm release date yet, prepare for more hilarity, hijinks, and crazy court cases when the second season eventually rolls around.

Where to watch the previous seasons of Night Court

Maybe it's been a while since you've seen the original "Night Court," and you want to revisit the NBC magic. Or perhaps you've heard about the sitcom, never seen it, and want to binge the whole show before catching up on the revival. Whatever your reason, you can find all nine seasons of the original show streaming on Freevee, which is free with ads. If you feel like skipping those ads, you can buy individual seasons of the show on sites such as Vudu and Amazon Video, or you can purchase the whole thing for $49.99 on Apple iTunes. And, of course, if you want to watch the first season of the revival series, you can find it on Peacock.