It’s been two decades after the Emmy winning David E. Kelley’s “Ally McBeal” ended its five-season run on Fox, Calista Flockhart led legal dramedy is plotting a comeback with a sequel series currently in early development at ABC.
The new project was written and executive produced by Karin Gist (“Mike,” “Our Kind of People”), the new series follows a young Black woman who joins the current incarnation of the law film from the original series. It’s believed that the character will be the daughter of Lisa Nicole Carson’s Renee Raddick from the original. The original creator David E. Kelly, he has reportedly “been looped in and has given his blessing,” he is not slated to be working on this new edition.
Original series star Calista Flockhart has reportedly been approached to reprise her title role from the original in some capacity, along with executive producing the follow-up. A decision on her potential involvement likely won’t be made until a script has been written.
Executives at 20th TV had been looking to bring back Ally McBeal in some shape or form for years; the efforts were stepped up after the 2019 Disney acquisition of Fox assets, including 20th TV, fueled by how well the series’ DNA fits into ABC’s core brand of female-driven character dramas with levity. I hear Gist’s take was very well received across the board, leading to the pitch’s sale to ABC for development.
Reps for ABC and 20th TV declined comment.