It looks like fans of the legal dramedy Ally McBeal can look forward to ABC’s future lineup, as it’s been reported by Deadline that a sequel series is in the early stages of development. The series is set to be executive produced and written by Karen Gist. The show will follow a new lead, a young Black woman, and her career right out of law school. Rumors say that the woman is the daughter of Ally McBeal’s (Flockhart) D.A. roommate Renée Raddick, who was played in the original series by Lisa Nicole Carson.
The reports also indicate that Calista Flockhart would be returning to the role of Ally McBeal and that Flockhart may executive produce the series as well. It’s unclear how prominent her role will be in the show at this time. The original Ally McBeal was created by David E. Kelley, who has reportedly given his blessing to the new series. According to Deadline, Kelley is stepping aside with the acknowledgment that Gist would obviously be the best candidate to tell the story of a character who is a young Black woman. At this time, it seems like Kelley won’t be involved in any capacity and that Gist will serve as showrunner.
The original Ally McBeal followed the titular lawyer’s career as well as her personal relationships and love life. The series was on Fox from 1997-2002 and nabbed the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1999. Throughout its five-season run, it was nominated for various other Emmys and brought home several. Along with Calista Flockhart and Lisa Nicole Carson, the series also Courtney Thorne-Smith, Greg Germann, Carson, Jane Krakowski, Peter MacNicol, Gil Bellows, Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi, and Vonda Shepard. Robert Downey Jr. also had a big role in the series in one of his first big appearances since his public legal issues. The series was a huge hit and was very influential. Most recently, the creators behind Marvel’s lawyer comedy She-Hulk have mentioned Ally McBeal as a partial inspiration for the series.
Fingers crossed that Karen Gist will be able to capture some of the magic of the original series while also bringing a fresh spin to the formula. Fans will undoubtedly be excited to see Calista Flockhart return in some capacity. It will be interesting to see how the new character navigates the tricky modern-day legal climate, as things have certainly changed since the late ’90s. If the creative team and cast behind the sequel can bring an interesting look at the modern-day courtroom and portray lovable characters, this sequel series could definitely be something special. In the meantime, Karen Gist is taking on executive producing and showrunner duties on the Mike Tyson limited series Mike. The series premiere for Mike hits Hulu on August 25 and will follow the life and career of heavyweight champ, Mike Tyson. Tyson will be portrayed by Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight). As of now, there’s no word on when we’ll see the Ally McBeal sequel series, but we’ll keep you updated on any new developments.