EXCLUSIVE: The new Night Court has set up a dream leading duo. The follow-up to the classic legal comedy series, which has been heating up for a pilot order at NBC for several weeks, will star Melissa Rauch and the original series’ co-star John Larroquette, reprising his Emmy-winning role, I have learned.
This marks the first post-The Big Bang Theory TV role for Rauch, the driving force behind the reboot, who initially was only set to executive produce for Warner Bros TV but decided to take on the lead role after reading the script, I hear. Reps for NBC and WBTV declined comment.
Written/executive produced by Dan Rubin based on the original series created by Reinhold Weege, the multi-camera Night Court centers on the unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone (Rauch), daughter of the late Harry Stone, who 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).
The original Night Court, which aired on NBC for nine seasons from 1984-92 and earned three Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominations, followed the proceedings during the night shift of a Manhattan municipal court, led by a young, unorthodox judge, Harold “Harry” T. Stone. He was played by Harry Anderson, who died in 2018 at age 65. Abby is a newly created character who was not part of the original show.
Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce via their After January production company, which is based at Warner Bros. TV. After January produces in association with WBTV, which was also the studio behind the original series. Under her company’s WBTV deal, Melissa Rauch approached the studio about the Night Court IP as she grew up a fan of the show and felt that a new incarnation could work well today.
Rauch is coming off Warner Bros TV’s blockbuster comedy series The Big Bang Theory, which aired on CBS for 12 seasons. She recently appeared in Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat alongside Meryl Streep. Rauch starred, produced and co-wrote along with husband Winston Rauch, The Bronze – which was the official opening-night film of the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Classics. She recently produced, co-wrote (with Winston) and starred in a stage production of a political satire titled The Secret Lunches of Chelsea & Ivanka at Joe’s Pub in NYC. She is repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman.