Night Court: NBC Pilot Approach Helps Larroquette/Rauch Sequel Series

Viewers interested in seeing the upcoming pilot for the sequel series to the popular 1984-1992 NBC sitcom Night Court with original series star John Larroquette and The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch can rest easy if they haven't heard anything yet about the possibility of getting a green light. Declaring the traditional pilot cycle dead and buried and adopting a more "52-week scheduling mindset," NBC executives Susan Rovner and Frances Berwick presented the network's fall schedule while emphasizing that they're now in the business of handing out series orders or pilot pick-ups year-round- for example, some projects could receive an order now for the 2021/22 midseason or looked at for the 2022/23 season. "The unique circumstances of this year have made us relook at how we approach the traditional broadcast pilot season and I really think it's going to benefit all of us," Rovner explained. "Rather than competing each year with other networks for the best directors, best actors, and best writing staff all in the same small window, we're now going to be able to take the time to make the best show, period." This means that pilots such as Night Court as well as Demi Lovato's food issues comedy Hungry and more remain in active consideration.

night court
Images: ViacomCBS/NBCU

Written and executive produced by Dan Rubin (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and based on Reinhold Weege's original series, the multi-camera Night Court will introduce viewers to unapologetic, optimistic judge Abby Stone (Rauch), daughter of the late Harry Stone (the late Harry Anderson). Abby follows in her father's footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics- most notably, former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette).

Originally, Rauch was only planning to stay behind the camera- but those plans changed after the script, as she explained, "My intention was purely to be behind the camera on this project, but my plans quickly changed after falling in love with the incredible script from the brilliant mind of Dan Rubin," said Rauch. "I couldn't be more thrilled to join forces with Dan, the immense talent that is John Larroquette, and the two powerhouse institutions of comedy that are NBC and Warner Bros. to bring Night Court back to television."

The loss of Anderson in 2018 hit the cast hard, with Larroquette posting a heartfelt message when the news first broke, "Heartsick. He was wicked smart. He was wicked funny. He had a big laugh. He had a big heart. He delighted in legerdemain especially when he caused someone to scratch their head and proclaim; How the hell did you do that? And he could eat a hamster like no one I ever knew." One of the highlights of the original series was the on-screen chemistry between Anderson's Stone and Larroquette's Fielding. Airing for eight and nine seasons, the series that followed the night shift of an NYC municipal court would go on to earn three Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominations. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce via their After January production company (based at Warner Bros. TV) alongside Rubin- with Larroquette set to produce. After January produces in association with the original series studio Warner Bros.

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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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