A spinoff of “The Good Doctor” titled “The Good Lawyer” has received a backdoor pilot order at ABC, Variety has learned.
The project was first reported as being in development in August 2022. Kennedy McMann and Felicity Huffman are attached to star. The episode setting up “The Good Lawyer” will air during the current sixth season of “The Good Doctor” on March 6. Per the official description of the episode, “Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) seeks legal representation to help him win a case and puts his faith in a promising, young lawyer who has obsessive compulsive disorder (McMann).”
McMann’s character is named Joni DeGroot. She is described as “brilliant, funny and self-aware lawyer who is relatively new to her prestigious law firm when she takes Shaun’s case. Living with OCD, Joni has never wanted to be treated differently. While her symptoms take a toll on her personal and professional life, her attention to detail allows her to see cases through a different lens.”
Huffman will star as Janet Stewart, “a highly regarded attorney and partner at the law firm with a fierce intellect and dry wit. A seasoned veteran, Janet has represented Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) in several legal matters over the years, so he turns to her to represent his beloved protégé. But when Shaun declares that he wants Joni to represent him, Janet is forced to let Joni take lead on the case.”
The pilot will be written by “Good Doctor” co-showrunners David Shore and Liz Friedman. Ruben Fleischer will direct. Sony Pictures Television and ABC Signature will produce.
McMann has previously spoken about how she began acting as a child as a way of coping with her own OCD. She most recently starred in the title role of The CW series “Nancy Drew” for four seasons. Her other credits include “Tell Me Lies” at Hulu.
She is repped by Buchwald, Framework Entertainment, and Schreck Rose.
This marks a return to ABC for Huffman, who starred in the network’s hit series “Desperate Housewives” throughout its eight-season run. She earned two Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations for that show, winning the Emmy for best actress in a comedy series in 2005. She also starred in the critically-acclaimed ABC shows “American Crime” and “Sports Night” as well as the Emmy-winning Netflix series “When They See Us.” She is also an Oscar nominee, having been nominated for best actress for her role in the film “Transamerica.”
She is repped by Atlas Artists and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations.
Should the project go to series, it would mark Huffman’s first major acting role since she served 11 days in prison for her involvement in the college admissions scandal of 2019. It was announced in 2020 that Huffman and “Peanut Butter Falcon” star Zack Gottsagen would star in a single-camera comedy about a minor league baseball team with a pilot production commitment at ABC, but at the time of this publishing that project has not come to fruition.
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