NBC Orders Jimmy Smits Legal Drama 'Bluff City Law,' Kal Penn Comedy 'Sunnyside' to Series

While the largest wave of television pilot pick-ups known as "May Upfonts" really gets into full swing starting the week of May 13th, NBC is getting a head start on the whole "greenlighting pilots to series" thing with pick-ups for Memphis legal drama Bluff City Law, from The Brave creator Dean Georgaris and producer David Janollari, and starring Jimmy Smits; and Queens comedy Sunnyside, starring, co-written and executive produced by Kal Penn and executive produced by Michael Schur (The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine).

While being first is no guarantee of making the fall schedule, the odds are forever in their favor: for example, NBC's first pick-up in 2018 was New Amsterdam – eventually finding a spot on the fall schedule on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

bluff city law sunnyside
BLUFF CITY LAW — "Pilot" Episode — Pictured: (l-r) Caitlin McGee as Sydney Strait, Jimmy Smits as Elijah Strait, Michael Luwoye as Anthony Little — (Photo by: NBC)

Coming from a famous Memphis family known for taking on injustice, brilliant lawyer Sydney Strait used to work at her father Elijah's celebrated law firm until their tumultuous relationship got in the way. After barely speaking to him for years, Sydney is suddenly thrust back into the family fold when her philanthropist mother passes away unexpectedly. In the wake of her loss, hoping to reconnect with the daughter he loves, Elijah asks Sydney to rejoin his firm. She agrees because despite her lingering resentment and distrust, she knows that working alongside her father is her best hope at changing the world … if they can ever get along.

Written by Georgaris, Bluff City Law stars Smits, Caitlin McGee, Scott Shepherd, Barry Sloane, Michael Luwoye, MaameYaa Boafo, Stony Blyden, and Jayne Atkinson. Georgaris, Janollari, and Michael Aguliar serve as executive prodcuers. Universal Television produces in association with David Janollari Entertainment.

bluff city law sunnyside
SUNNYSIDE — "Pilot" Episode — Pictured: (l-r) Joel Kim Booster as Jun Ho, Poppy Liu as Mei Lin, Samba Schutte as Hakim, Kal Penn as Garrett, Diana Marie Riva as Griselda, Moses Storm as Brady — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Garrett Modi was living the American Dream. As the youngest New York City Councilman ever, he was rubbing elbows with the political elite, attending star-studded parties and was the pride of Queens. But instead of spending his time in office helping the people that got him elected, he lost his way amidst the power and glamour of politics. When his downward spiral got him busted for public intoxication (and downright stupidity), it was all caught on tape and ended his career. Now, Garrett's crashing with his sister, Mallory, and wondering where it all went wrong. That is, until he's hired by a diverse group of hopefuls who dream of becoming American citizens and believe he can help – giving him a new sense of purpose and a chance for redemption, as long as he remembers where he came from.

Co-written with Matt Murray, Sunnyside stars co-wroter Penn as well as Diana Maria Riva, Joel Kim Booster, Kiran Deol, Poppy Liu, Moses Storm, and Samba Schutte. Penn, Murray, David Miner, and Dan Spilo serve as executive producers, with Schur as supervising executive producer. Universal Television produces in association with Fremulon and 3 Arts Entertainment.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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