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TCA Press Tour: ABC's 'The Deep End' reboots the legal show, says series creator

Deep end 1 David Hemingson's most recent work has been consulting on the crime drama "Lie to Me" and co-executive producing the comedy "How I Met Your Mother."  But its his new series, "The Deep End," a sort of "Grey's Anatomy" set in the world of law, that is "the story most near and dear" to his heart.

"The Deep End" is a retelling of his own history as a young attorney -- and a reboot of the legal drama at large.

Paying due respect to "Perry Mason" and the work of Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, Hemingson said there has never been a show "told from the perspective of newly minted lawyers. These kids that have come out of law school and their confronting of the reality of their practice for the first time."

Also distinguishing it are the "interpersonal aspects, the sexiness," the twentysomething point of view.

The first episode follows five associates thrown into their first caseloads at Sterling, a powerful Los Angeles firm. One is given an impossible pro bono case, another is asked to get a client to sign with the firm under false pretenses. They're guided by a reluctant mentor and the firm's warring partners. Matt Long, Billy Zane, Clancy Brown, Norbert Leo Butz, Leah Pipes, Tina Majorino, Ben Lawson, Nicole Ari Parker and Mehcad Brooks star.

"When I look at the pilot, this was the beginning of my sentimental, my moral education," Hemingson said. Like Dylan [Long], in the first episode, Hemingson too showed up to his first day of work as an attorney "bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and told I was in fact 10 days late." A Columbia grad, his law career didn't last long. "The law for me was something I came to with very high expectations. The big-firm practice pointed me to do something else, but I left with a lot of anecdotes and friendship."

"The Deep End" premieres on ABC Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: ABC

Comments () | Archives (2)

The Deep End sounds like a clone of the short-lived NBC show First Years, which aired back in 2001. That show ran for 9 episodes, which was 9 episodes too many. Simply awful. I am not encouraged by the pull quote that The Deep End focuses on the "interpersonal aspects, the sexiness" of the lawyers. That was the main problem with First Years, along with the absurd storylines and half-witted dialogue. I hope David Hemingson watched tapes of the First Years to learn how NOT to produce a show about first year attorneys at a big law firm.

Let's get real. Been there, done that, and nothing on TV reflects the reality. (This show offers precious little hope, too, given the clips.) A first-year signing a client--are you KIDDING me?


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