A new iteration of the beloved TV show “Ally McBeal” is said to be in the works.
The new series will be a sequel rather than a reboot and will focus on a young Black woman who joins the law firm from the original “Ally McBeal” after she graduates from law school, according to Deadline. The lead character will reportedly be the daughter of McBeal’s one-time roommate, D.A. roommate Renée Raddick (Lisa Nicole Carson).
As for Ally McBeal herself, Calista Flockhart, her involvement in the project is currently unclear. Per Deadline, “Flockhart has been approached to reprise her title role from the original in some capacity and to executive-produce the followup.” However, the outlet added that “a decision on her potential involvement likely won’t be made until a script has been written.”
This isn’t the first time talks of Flockhart returning to TV as McBeal have made headlines. Back in March 2021, a report surfaced that a full reboot of the show starring Flockhart was being developed. It would seem that project has been scuttled.
The new sequel to “Ally McBeal” will be written and executive-produced by Karin Gist, whose credits include “Mike”, “Mixed-ish”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, and many others.
“Ally McBeal”‘s creator, TV mogul David E. Kelley, will not be returning for the project. According to Deadline‘s reporting, Kelley has “given his blessing” to Gist and the new creative team but, “given the new show’s focus on a new character who is a Black woman,” Kelley decided to step aside “out of respect for Gist being able to tell that character’s story.”
Back in 2018, Kelley told The Hollywood Reporter that any future version of “Ally McBeal” should, in his view, be helmed by a woman.
“I’d be open to the idea of ‘Ally McBeal’ being done again, but I don’t think it should be done by me. If it were going to be done, it really should be done by a woman,” he told THR. “If it’s going to be new, it should be new and different.”
“Ally McBeal” ran for five seasons from 1997 to 1992 and made Flockhart a star. The sequel series news comes exactly two decades since the legal drama left the airwaves.
The production company 20th TV has long been looking for ways to bring “McBeal” back in some form.