Ally McBeal‘s TV status is no longer bygones.
ABC is developing a sequel series to the quirky ’90s legal dramedy, with a Black female lead taking over for Calista Flockhart’s title character, our sister site Deadline reports.
The new take on Ally McBeal will focus on a young Black woman who joins the current incarnation of the Cage & Fish law firm straight out of law school — and who is also reportedly the daughter of Ally’s old roommate Renee, played by Lisa Nicole Carson on the original series. (Flockhart has been approached about reprising her role and serving as an executive producer, but no deals have been made yet.)
Karin Gist, who wrote for Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge before serving as showrunner on Fox’s Our Kind of People and ABC’s mixed-ish, will write the pilot and serve as an EP as well. Original series creator David E. Kelley is not involved in the new series but has reportedly given it his blessing; he’s said in the past if Ally were to come back, he’d want a woman to write it.
Ally McBeal debuted in 1997 on Fox, starring Flockhart as a hopelessly romantic young lawyer at a top Boston firm. It quickly became a cultural sensation, breaking boundaries with its then-unique mix of comedy and drama and its bizarre CGI flourishes that represented Ally’s inner hopes and fears — like the infamous “Dancing Baby” that appeared when her biological clock was ticking. Ally won the Emmy for best comedy series in 1999 along with a pair of Golden Globes, ultimately running for five seasons. TVLine first reported that a revival was in the works last year.
so hollywoods only ideas now is to remake things but add a black female lead ? like thats still the ssame show tho , no ? why not cast ally as a gay man instead that would b a spin , id definitly still watch it coz i loved ally and maybe they will find ways to make it different, the L word generation Q is for me the best remake tv has done coz it combines new and old , id love to see that kinda idea
Ummm, not a reboot, but a continuation with a new lead character, who happens to be black. Can we maybe dial down the cynicism just a couple notches?
I think Peter has a fair point. If this was unique to this show in having a black lead in the remake(or a person of African decent if you want to be political) I’d be OK with it. However it’s not, almost every remake is doing the same or in talks to do the same. From the Equalizer to Buffy in what has now become a never ending format. In swaping white actors to poeple of color in remakes. In stead of making new original shows with people of colour in. At least this is a continuation of Ally Mcbeal in a sense that it the same law firm 20+ years on. But it still won’t be Ally Mcbeal as her character is not in the show.
Agree, why not even call it a different name, just trying to pick up a fanbase and most remakes are not as good as the original
. . . Whats the Name of the Show?
What you just claimed as a normal idea contradicts reality and will guarteed make both old and new fans angry.
I could reboot this with no effort.
Its not rocket science you just expand.
This whole Replacement angle is for non fans.
I’ll give you a taste
Cage,Fish & Mcbeal expand with Law Office’s Globally giving older characters a license to drop by whenever while still playing a pivital role.
Ally’s Daughter Maddie at this point 20 years later would be just outta law school her first couple years and can be used as a Lawyer in her mothers firm.
Ally gets involved to guarantee her daughter has a quality mentor while ensuring that branch’s manager keeps her in the loop and helps Maddie Grow as well . Perfect Manage here is Elaine as her Character in that position would offer so much range.
Ally’s Mentor should be obvious
Regina Hall aka Perfection Personafied.
She was already Established in seasons 5 and would give fans on all sides someone they love.
Build around this using all the same things that made Ally Mcbeal different like Unisex Bathrooms, Mental Health Education and Quality semi retired musical guests playing varrying roles.
I’d also hire Vonda again to sing as well as a choice mentor for her Preferbly an LGBTQ+ Representitive would be nice. Personally i’d Kirstin Taylor Maldonado who’s won Multiple Grammy’s with here Accapella Group the Penantonix’s. She’s slowly made the transition to an overall performer and veered into some on Stage roles. Famous and Acclaimed but not known to many without a google search for most(i just love her , her voice is 1 of a kind like Lucuna Coil’s Chistina Scabbia )
Ally McBeal captured something of the zeitgeist of its time… which makes it seem an odd choice for a revival.
Streaming Service’s vs Cable Company’s
Streaming Service care about New Binge Worthy watching experience and providing both Classic and Cult Classic content as well.
Cable Company’s need Weekly Devotion to a time slot that if not met or if it dips below previous low’s will often be cancelled not to long after. Very RARELY do they keep it on after it plummets like they did Supernatual as the fans they did have were loyal and vocal. Supernatural shoulda been cancelled after season 6 but it survived ,evolved and lasted well over twice that many seasons.
My Point here is in todays world an Ally Mcbeal if released in two 8-12 episode release’s a year to complete a single season. South Park’s highest ratings ever was when they switched to this format during their Book of Mormon years where they were spread thin between Hollywood and Broadway.
Can it work ? 100%
Does how its released change that? 100%
“Original series creator David E. Kelley is not involved…”
I get why he wants a female to be showrunner, but seems weird he has no involvement whatsoever.
I think Kelley brought the magic.
That’s exactly what I thought! He did a great job writing for a woman. His sense of humor and eccentric storylines are what made the show different.
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I hope this is sarcasm. If not, you must not watch much.
“Sequel ” seems to be stretching it. But, I’m all for quirky shows. I’ll check it out for the 6-8 episodes that will air before ABC pulls the plug.
I needed that laugh, your last sentence. But you will probably be so spot on.
Wish they would just come up with original ideas instead of remaking/rebooting something, just because Hollywood wants to display how politic correct they can be. I’m all for people of color or other minorities to have great roles and I want equality, but at least come up with a new show, premise and original characters. This just feels forced for some reason.
Because people don’t want to watch “original ideas”. Familiar IP is what it takes to break through in todays landscape.
P A S S !
Considering the attempted Buffy and Bewitched reboots failed, not to mention the Charmed reboot got little praise, I don’t have high expectations for this one. They might actually have better lucking doing these as their own things if they stop trying to use the names of such iconic shows.
You just can’t pass up on taking another dig on the Charmed reboot. It had its moments and had a 4 season run.
Sorry, it was terrible. Bad writing, bad acting. The only positive was Harry. I watched it for him.
Harry was great and the sister that died. The other sisters just weren’t good enough actors. It also lacked the cheesiness and truly bizarre fashions if the original.
I also find it annoying that we are constantly seeing remakes, or essentially shows that borrow the name and basic elements of the original but then cast it completely differently. I think it’s great to see shows that focus on different ethnic groups but think it does a disservice to the original fans when they are pasted onto a different environment. They just don’t gel. Shows like Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin worked so well because the writing naturally reflected the Latino community, as Blackish does the Black community. At least this show will have done continuity as the lead will be Renee’s daughter. They won’t be able to call it Alky McBeal though, even if Calista does sign on as a recurring character and/or producer.
Bad idea! Ally McBeal was/is an iconic show. The content definitely wouldn’t fly in today’s PC environment. Don’t try to recreate this great show!
I just finished a rewatch of The Good Place so the judge wanting everyone to sign a petition to reboot Ally McBeal is fresh in my mind. Looks like she got what she wanted without having to reboot humanity.
Are you sure that hasn’t happened?
It feels like the Bad Place won.
If the Bad Place was in charge, all we’d have on our TVs would be infomercials and TMZ.
Ha ha you are so forking right!
I bet Elaine is still the receptionist.
I’ll watch only if Calista is co-lead or meaty supporting role. I don’t care for new characters I’m revivals/sequels. I watch The L Word Gen Q but I ff the scenes with new characters. I only watch for Bette, Alice and Shane (and now Tina). It’s like executives don’t get it. Old fans watch those shows only because of old favorites. Once they’re gone so is out interest in the show.
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I don’t care what the race, gender, or sexual orientation the character has but when they make it seem like in the announcements for the shows that the only reason they are remaking the show is to change from the original it just sounds like they are more interested in checking a box than making a show. So how about just announcing the show and the name of the actors cast?
Agreed! If you have nothing better to say in the announcement of a show I automatically pass. I watch shows to be entertained, not check a box.
So I guess the show would be called Ally Raddick? Considering the last we saw of Renees she was a judge in Ohio.
Horrible idea… same as re-doing Buffy … these shows have such a 90s vibe and are totally unique that would feel either outdated or just too fresh to appeal to the audience it’s looking for.
It would be like re-doing Charmed – only ten times worse.
I’m sorry, but I’ll only accept an Ally McBeal sequel starring the dancing baby all grown up.
Bad idea. A really bad idea.
Don’t ruin an iconic show and an iconic, quirky character.
Ally McBeal = Calista Flockhart 👌🏻
I am not into the idea of an Ally McBeal remake or sequel, but for a different reason from most people, it seems like. I really liked the show when it started, but by later seasons it had really gone off the rails for me. I’m guessing this new idea is basically just a “quirky woman lawyer” show with the Ally McB brand to give it a head start but for me, that brand is stale and very out of date.
This is just like the reboot of my favorite show, “Brazzos.” I wonder if Ally McBeal will be senile too.
In a surprising turn of events, the new lead also moonlights as a vampire slayer!
Lisa Nicole Carson <3 <3 <3
Sounds like fun. Hope it actually happens!
Dumb idea that will quickly expire not to mention forced inclusion is not inclusion
They need to check a lot of boxes other than racial diversity (which the original also had in spades, by the way), in order for this to be more than just a legal comedy with a quirky female lead:
1. The CGI effects (includng but not limited to the dancing baby; remember the foot-in-mouth, jaw-dropping, etc animations??)
2. A Cage-Fish partnership (which was one of the richest things about the original)
3. A completely clued-in-on-the-gossip receptionist/office assistant like Elaine, who was funny and flirtatious and had a heart of gold.
4. Roommates like Ally and Renee–their relationship provided voices of reason that one didn’t find anywhere.
5. Unrequited love–as cliched as it sounds, it was a big part of what made Ally who she was.
6. Sharp-tongued, unapologetic lawyers like Ling, who was phenomenal, all the way to the judge’s bench.
7. Judges and opposing counsel with their own quirks and eccentricities.
8. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE UNISEX restroom.
Phew!! The sequel has big shoes to fill; huge!! Good luck to them! :D