Television reboots are a dime a dozen these days, but Steven Bochco was initially hesitant to jump on the reboot bandwagon. The L.A. Law creator is currently working with Fox's 20th Television on a reimagining of the legal drama, which originally aired on NBC from September 1986 to May 1994, but it took a lot of convincing to get him to agree to it.
"That was a show that I had said no to redeveloping on several occasions over the last five or 10 years," Bochco tells TVGuide.com. "My friend and collaborator Billy Finkelstein, who was one of our original writers on L.A. Law, talked me into it, by pointing out — and rightfully so — that the legal stories that you're going to be telling in 2016-17 literally didn't exist 30 years ago. That's how long it's been. And so, what that gives you is an opportunity to really hold a mirror up to the way in which our legal culture ... just changes our culture in general. Those stories are fresh, because they didn't exist then."
A pilot for the L.A. Law reboot will likely make the rounds next pilot season, and if the show is picked up it would ideally premiere next fall. Bochco says he's looking forward to introducing the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak (or some iteration of it) to a new generation of viewers, while tossing in a couple of treats for fans of the original series, a four-time Emmy winner for Best Drama Series that starred Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood and John Spencer, among others.
"There's going to be some linkage to the past, in certain aspects of how we produce it and the possibility of bringing at least a couple of characters back from the original show," Bochco says. "But I wouldn't want it to be just a replica of what we did then. The world has changed so much. One of the things that Billy and I spent a lot of time doing was really trying to think through the evolution of a boutique, full-service law firm. ... In the same way that our business has changed dramatically over that period of time, how would that business change over time? We really put a lot of thought into that. And when you do that, what you come out with is something that looks and feels very different."
But, don't expect to see updated versions of Bochco's other shows (including Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue or Doogie Howser, M.D.) any time soon, or ever - Bochco says L.A. Law is the only one of his shows that he'd consider bringing back.
"I would never think of redoing Hill Street Blues, ever. I've said no to that many, many times," he says adamantly. "Because I don't think you could ever duplicate what that show was to the culture in 1981. ... Part of what was remarkable about that show is how different it was for its time. And I just don't think it would have that kind of impact now, so I don't know what the reason for doing it would be. NYPD Blue, no. ... L.A. Law, of all of them, really seems to be the one that lends itself to a contemporary reimagining, better than a lot of the other ones."