20th Television is reportedly, currently in the early development of a new modern version of the classic legal comedy-drama, “Ally McBeal” for ABC.
Deadline is reporting that the new series is going to be written and executive produced by Karin Gist, who has recently worked on the upcoming Hulu/Star Original “Mike”.
The original series is about a beautiful and brainy Boston lawyer Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart), who meets up with Richard Fish (Greg Germann), a former college friend. He hires her at the prestigious Cage & Fish law firm. But things get dicey when Ally learns she’ll be working with her first true love, Billy Thomas (Gil Bellows), as well as Billy’s wife (Courtney Thorne-Smith)! Grappling with unresolved feelings, a difficult assistant, some oddball colleagues, and a high-pressure career, Ally slips into one fantasy after another in order to cope with her new life.
This new version will follow a young Black woman who joins the law firm from the original series, having recently got out of law school. It’s possible that the young woman could be the daughter of Renée Raddick, who was the roommate of Ally McBeal. In the original series, Renée Raddick was played by Lisa Nicole Carson.
Apparently, Calista Flockhart has been approached to reprise her title role in the original and would be an executive producer on the show, should it return. A decision on her potential involvement is likely to depend on the script.
The original series was created and executive produced by David E.Kelley, who most recently has worked with Disney on “Big Sky” and is developing “Avalon”. He has been looped in on the idea of revisiting “Ally McBeal” and given his blessing, but won’t be involved and has stepped aside out of respect for Gist being able to tell that character’s story.
Ever since Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, there have been efforts to bring the franchise back, as the series fits in with ABC’s core brand of female-driven character dramas.
Disney hasn’t officially announced, nor confirmed this new version of “Ally McBeal” is in development.
The previous five seasons of “Ally McBeal” are available to stream now on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in some countries.