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This Original L.A. Law Cast Member Just Boarded The Revival

The old gang is slowly getting back together again for ABC's sequel-series revival of the hit drama "L.A. Law." Deadline reported on October 18 that series star Corbin Bernsen has signed up to appear in the new series pilot, reprising his role as Arnie Becker, the charismatic partner at the Los Angeles law firm McKenzie Brackman (renamed to Becker Rollins). In addition, Bernsen will be joined by Blair Underwood, who appeared on six seasons of the show as lawyer Jonathan Rollins. Both are expected to be series regulars if it gets picked up, while other members of the show's original cast may guest star. "I've often thought about revisiting L.A. Law and Arnie Becker over the years," Bernsen is quoted as saying. "Now seems the perfect moment in time to explore our fast-changing world through Becker's eyes. Fasten your seatbelts."

The new "L.A. Law" will make use of the original's durable premise: showcasing the interpersonal drama of the firm's lawyers even as they take on cases that touch on hot-button cultural issues and class disparities. Deadline reports that the new show will steer into that skid by showing the firm reinventing itself "as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high-profile, boundary-pushing and incendiary cases."

The new L.A. Law will show Arnie Becker struggling to adapt with the times

Along the way, the old guard represented by Jonathan Rollins and Arnie Becker will have to clash with their new, young, idealistic successors, as well as the ways they might have been left behind by a changing world. The Hollywood Reporter's piece on the news says some of Rollins' youthful idealism may have faded with age, even as the firm he's devoted much of his professional life to is remade "to effect political and legal change." Meanwhile, Becker faces other struggles with the changing times; his description pegs him as a "former lothario who hasn't changed since the 1980s, but the world has. Now in his 60s, he struggles with a rapidly-shifting sexual and political landscape."

The original "L.A. Law" was a television sensation in the late 1980s and early 1990s, averaging more than 16 million viewers at its peak (per Associated Press) and winning four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series during its run. (Corbin Bernsen was nominated twice for Outstanding Lead Actor.) Elsewhere, the ABA Journal ranked Becker 14th on its list of the best fictional lawyers of all time. We'll see whether he survives the revival with that reputation intact.

More recently, Bernsen has appeared in recurring roles on series such as "The Resident" and "The Punisher." He also held down a regular role on the comedic detective show "Psych" and its three television movie sequels as Henry Spencer, father of series co-lead Shawn Spencer (James Roday Rodriguez).