All rise, as it looks like Night Court will be back in session. Deadline is reporting that NBC is in development on a sequel series to its 1980s hit comedy series.
The new series would focus on the previously unseen daughter of original star Harry Anderson’s Judge Harry T Stone, Abby Stone, as she takes the bench in a lower Manhattan court and will have to presumably deal with the same parade of crazy criminal defendants that her father dealt with over nine seasons.
There is no word yet as to who would play the new Judge Stone, but original cast member John Larroquette will be returning as the leering and lecherous Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding.
The new show will be executive produced by Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch, with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Dan Rubin to write.
Created by Barney Miller vet Reinhold Weege, Night Court premiered as a mid-season replacement in January 1984. For nine years, comic magician-turned-actor Anderson presided over a steady stream of oddballs that came through his court. Although most of ensemble cast came and went, he Larroquette and Richard Moll were the only cast members to stay with the show for its entire run.
Although not an immediate hit, the network renewed Night Court for a full second season where it found its audience as part of NBC’s powerhouse Thursday night comedy lineup. The series would get nominated for nine Primetime Emmys over the course of its run including three Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominations. Larroquette won trophies for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series four times.
When the series ended in 1989, Larroquette’s character was last seen heading to Washington DC to follow public defender Christine Sullivan (Markie Post), who had just been been elected to Congress hoping to romantically win her over.
I have to admit that outside of the iconic Cheers, Night Court is probably my favorite sitcom of the 1980s. The level of inspired lunacy that the series would hit on a consistent basis was a delight. Rauch and Rubin have some big shoes to fill, and we will see how well they do.