ABC’s ‘The Deep End’ Hopes To Make A Splash

by | January 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM | TV News

Billy Zane in ABC's The Deep End (ABC)

Billy Zane in ABC's The Deep End (ABC)

While many have dismissed ABC’s ‘The Deep End‘ as ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ in a law firm,” the show’s creators hope to leave their own footprint as the legal dramedy debuts this Thursday at 8/7c.

“I kind of see this as kind of the reboot of the legal show,” says executive producer David Hemingson (‘Kitchen Confidential‘). “If you go all the way back in television history – back to ‘Perry Mason‘ and ‘The Defenders‘ and certainly the incredible job that Steven Bochco did with ‘L.A. Law‘ and David E. Kelley’s ‘The Practice‘ and ‘Boston Legal‘ – there’s a rich tradition of legal shows. But I think there’s never been one that has taken it from the perspective of newly minted lawyers who are confronting the reality of their practice for the first time” – NBC’s short-lived ‘First Years‘ excluded, of course.

“The interpersonal aspects of the show, the comedy of the show, the sexiness of the show, the fun of the show is something we haven’t quite seen, especially from a 20-something perspective,” Hemingson believes. “It distinguishes itself from anything that’s been on thus far.

“At least, we hope it does,” he adds.

‘The Deep End’s roster of newbies is populated by such familiar faces as Mehcad Brooks (‘True Blood‘), Tina Majorino (‘Veronica Mars‘) and Matt Long (‘Jack & Bobby‘), while Billy Zane (‘Titanic‘) lords over them with a surly first as the firm’s managing partner.

Zane’s character, Cliff Huddle, is “not the Devil, but a devil,” says the actor. “He’s the coach you hated but owe everything to as you’re getting your championship trophy.

While Zane has no qualms about adding another villainous type to his resume, Majorino is “really excited” to break away from her “niche show” roots and dive into something with broader appeal.

“I’m not saying this with any distaste or no love for the characters I’ve played [on 'Veronica Mars' or 'Big Love'], but I’ve tended to play the outcast and nerdy types.” As ‘The Deep End’s Addy Fisher, “It’s nice to be able to play someone different.”

In keeping with the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ comparison, Zane says ‘The Deep End’s storylines, booth in and outside of the courtroom, aim to elicit a positive verdict from viewers.

Surveying the series’ ensemble of characters, he says, “As repellent and attractive and inspired as they are, you cannot wait to see what they’re going to do next.”

Watch a sneak peek of the pilot below: