The reboot bug has hit a classic 90s comedy. According to TVLine, an Ally McBeal revival is in early development with lead Calista Flockhart (Supergirl, Brothers and Sisters) attached to star. The Emmy-winning series aired for five seasons on Fox.
The series premiered in 1997, via TVLine. For five seasons, Flockhart’s McBeal explored love and lust as an attorney whose inner thoughts manifested in many ways, including a 3D-rendered dancing baby. Its quirky comedy, sexy scenarios, and numerous musical guests made the show and Flockhart pop culture staples. The show coveted an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
The main cast included Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, House at the End of the Street), Lisa Nicole Carson (ER, Love Jones), Jane Krakowski (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock), Greg Germann (Grey’s Anatomy, Here Comes the Boom), Peter MacNicol (All Rise, Bean), and Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place, According to Jim). Later seasons added Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development, Scandal), Lucy Liu (Elementary, Why Women Kill), and even Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man 3, Dolittle).
According to TVLine, series creator David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Undoing) is attached as an executive producer. He previously discussed how a series return would work in a 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’d be open to the idea of Ally McBeal being done again, but I don’t think it should be done by me,” Kelley stated in the interview via TVLine. “If it were going to be done, it really should be done by a woman. If it’s going to be new, it should be new and different. And I did it: 100 hours,” Kelley said via TVLine. A woman showrunner is being eyed, especially given the show’s themes of sex and dating would have to be reimagined for a post-#MeToo era.
TVLine reports the revival has yet to be shopped to a network or streaming service. Since the series original studio was 20th Television, a place underneath the Disney umbrella would make the most sense. All five seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu.