“Ally McBeal” Sequel Series in Development at ABC

According to Deadline, a sequel series to the 1990s hit Ally McBeal is in development at ABC, exactly two decades after ending its original run on Fox.

What’s Happening:

  • Written and executive produced by Karin Gist (Hulu’s Mike), the sequel is said to follow a young Black woman who joins the law firm from the original series (or its current incarnation) straight out of law school.
  • The young woman is believed to be the daughter of Ally McBeal’s (Calista Flockhart) D.A. roommate Renée Raddick, who was played by Lisa Nicole Carson on the original series.
  • Original star Calista Flockart has been approached to reprise her role, as well as executive produce the series, although no decision has been made at this point.
  • Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley has supposedly given his blessing for the follow-up, although there are no current plans for him to be involved. According to Deadline, Kelley felt he was not needed and graciously stepped aside out of respect for Gist being able to tell that character’s story.
  • Gist serves as showrunner and executive produces through her production banner, The Gist of It, alongside the company’s EVP Claire Brown.
  • Plans for an Ally McBeal sequel series have been in the works for a few years, with talks ramping up following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
  • Ally McBeal, which aired on Fox from 1997-2002, starred Flockhart as Ally, a lawyer working in the Boston law firm Cage and Fish along with her ex-lover and his wife, and followed Ally’s trials and tribulations through life as she looked for love and fulfillment. The main focus of the dramedy was the romantic and personal lives of the main characters, often using legal proceedings as a plot device.