Bernsen portrayed the attorney for all eight seasons of the original series, which aired from 1986 to 1994 on NBC, and even returned for the 2002 TV movie.
Bernsen joins Blair Underwood, previously reported to be returning for the revival as Jonathan Rollins. According to Deadline, Underwood and Bernsen are the only original cast members returning to the pilot as series regulars, but more are expected to guest-star should the pilot be ordered to series.
The updated take is once again set at the venerable law firm of McKenzie Brackman, which has reinvented itself as “a litigation firm specializing in only the most high profile, boundary pushing and incendiary cases,” per the official synopsis.
Underwood’s character “has gone from idealistic to more conservative as he clashes with millennial JJ Freeman to decide the best path forward for the firm to effect political and legal change.” As for Arnie, the “former lothario 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 project will be written by Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Eli Stone) and Ubah Mohamed (Legends of Tomorrow), who also serve as executive producers alongside the late Steven Bochco’s wife Dayna and son Jesse (via Steven Bochco Productions), director Anthony Hemingway and Underwood.
Bernsen went on to play a number of memorable TV roles, including Shawn’s father Henry Spencer for all 120 episodes of Psych. He’ll next appear in Psych 3: This Is Gus, streaming Nov. 18 on Peacock.
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