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LA Law Revival - What We Know So Far

"L.A. Law" was one of the biggest shows of the '80s and early '90s. The legal drama from legendary TV producer Steven Bochco and lawyer-turned-writer Terry Louise Fisher -– and David E. Kelley, who began his own legendary TV career as a writer on the show and became the showrunner after Bochcho stepped down in 1989 -– won 15 Emmys over the course of its eight-season run from 1986 to 1994, including four wins for Outstanding Drama Series.

The show featured a large ensemble cast that included Richard Dysart, Alan Rachins, Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Susan Ruttan, Harry Hamlin, Jimmy Smits, and Blair Underwood. They all played attorneys and support staff handling cases that dealt with hot-button issues of the era.

Since the series was successful in the past, it's coming back. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC has just ordered a pilot for what is described as an "L.A. Law" sequel series focused on Underwood's character, Jonathan Rollins. The update will be produced by another attorney-turned-TV writer, former "Arrow" executive producer Marc Guggenheim, along with "Legends of Tomorrow" writer Ubah Mohamed.

Here's what we know so far about the "L.A. Law" revival, including its release date, cast, and plot. 

What is L.A. Law's release date?

Per The Hollywood Reporter, ABC ordered the pilot for the 2022-23 broadcast season, which means the series will likely premiere sometime next year. The "2022-23" designation could mean it would premiere next fall, but the fact that it's being ordered this fall could mean ABC is eyeing a spring premiere. Networks are transitioning to a year-round development model and moving away from the traditional pilot process as streaming becomes increasingly more important than broadcast.

And that's if the pilot gets picked up to series, which there's no guarantee that it will. Not every reboot or revival pilot goes forward. In 2019, a revival of another Steven Bochco series, "NYPD Blue," was passed over at ABC. That one, like the "L.A. Law" revival, was executive-produced by Bochco's widow Dayna and his son Jesse.

"L.A. Law" joins an untitled pilot about a newspaper reporter in Alaska from Hillary Swank and "Spotlight" writer-director Tom McCarthy on ABC's development slate.

Who's in the cast of L.A. Law?

As previously mentioned, the cast of the revival will be led by Blair Underwood, who will reprise his role as McKenzie Brackman attorney Jonathan Rollins. Underwood joined the original "L.A. Law" in Season 2 and stayed on until the end of the series. He will serve as an executive producer on the new show.

He'll reportedly be joined by other cast members from the original series, but no other names have been announced yet. Some cast members have passed away or retired, but original series actors who could potentially return include Jimmy Smits, Corbin Bernsen, and Harry Hamlin.

"L.A. Law" was known for providing early-career roles for a great number of guest actors who went on to become stars, such as Bryan Cranston, David Schwimmer, and Lucy Liu. Perhaps some stars could reprise their roles, or the revival could provide work experience for the next generation of film and television superstars.

What's the plot of L.A. Law?

Like the original, the revival will have storylines that address topical social and political issues of the moment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "L.A. Law" sequel series will focus on the reinvention of McKenzie Brackman as a litigation firm "specializing in only the most high-profile, boundary-pushing and incendiary cases." Blair Underwood's Jonathan Rollins character, once an idealistic young lawyer, has since become more conservative and will be in conflict with a "millennial" attorney, JJ Freeman, as they "decide the best path forward for the firm to effect political and legal change." The role of Freeman has not been cast yet.

There is any number of hot-button topics "L.A. Law" could turn into storylines, from vaccine mandates to #MeToo to racial justice and police misconduct. The writers could take a ripped-from-the-headlines approach like the one pioneered by "Law & Order," another show from the early '90s that's getting revived.