Next Month, You'll Find Out How ABC Managed to Make Dallas Look Like Los Angeles

billyzaneontheset.jpeg
Patrick Michels
Billy Zane and Timothy Busfield on the set of The Deep End at The Studios at Las Colinas last month
If you're just dying to see how Dallas looked as Los Angeles's stand-in, your wait is over: ABC just sent word that the Fox-produced The Deep End -- known to the Friends of Unfair Park as that hour-long legal dramedy starring Billy Zane -- will make its bow January 21 at 7 p.m., making it the lead-in to Grey's Anatomy. The full press release concerning the series (created by David Hemingson) follows, but a few programming notes:

The launch of the show, which has been shooting around town for months, comes at least one month before producers expected the network to put The Deep End on the air. (It was always intended as a midseason replacement, with "spring" as the intended launch date.) And it'll be a rush, to say the least: Production was supposed to wrap on the initial six episodes this week, but cast and crew are still in town doing reshoots and pick-ups till at least tomorrow.

And last I looked, The Deep End's time slot is presently occupied by FlashForward, which is going on hiatus till March 4. And it's a tough time slot too just counting network programming: Survivor: Samoa on CBS, Bones on Fox ... and, beginning mid-February, the Winter Olympics on NBC. Still no word on if ABC plans on picking up the series, which would return to Dallas (and The Studios at Las Colinas) if the network gives the OK. But this much is certain: With the start date bumped up, we'll find out sooner than later.
ABC ANNOUNCES THE PREMIERE OF "THE DEEP END," THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 AT 8:00 P.M., ET

ABC announces the series premiere of new drama "The Deep End," which brings to life the tragedies and triumphs of five earnest twenty-something first-year associates fighting to stay afloat in one of Los Angeles' top law firms, THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

In a city where wealth and power rule, everyone strives to make it to the top. For five eager and attractive law associates, being accepted into one of Los Angeles' most prestigious law firms is the first step on their way up. But as they soon realize, the law offices of Sterling are far more cutthroat than they could have ever imagined and they must fight for themselves and their clients to stay afloat in these shark infested waters. These young and impressionable associates are immediately thrown into cases and forced to deal with the emotional and ethical decisions that come with the job they've worked so hard for.

In the premiere episode, "Pilot," Dylan (Matt Long, "Jack and Bobby") is given an impossible pro bono custody case, Beth (Leah Pipes, "Sorority Row") keeps mum when a 90-year-old man signs an agreement thinking that she's his daughter, Liam (Ben Lawson, "Neighbours") must get a client to sign with the firm under false pretenses, Addy (Tina Majorino, "Big Love") finally gets some attention from her boss when she speaks her mind, and Malcolm (Mehcad Brooks, "True Blood") gets off on the wrong foot when he's hired outside of the firm's traditional process.

While these five ambitious associates struggle to adjust their appetites and ideals to the fast-paced demands of their jobs, they're faced with the warring partners at Sterling who hold the keys to their future, and a reluctant mentor, Rowdy (Norbert Leo Butz), who tries to guide them and the firm through the trenches. For Dylan, saving face with one partner in particular is much more difficult after he falls for the firm's paralegal -- unbeknownst to him, she's already in bed with firm partner Cliff Huddle (Billy Zane, "Titanic"), who is married to fellow partner Susan Oppenheim (Nicole Ari Parker) and fighting for the soul of the firm with its namesake, Hart Sterling (Clancy Brown, "Carnivale").

"The Deep End" stars Matt Long as Dylan Hewitt, Billy Zane as Cliff Huddle, Clancy Brown as Hart Sterling, Norbert Leo Butz as Rowdy Kaiser, Leah Pipes as Beth Branford, Tina Majorino as Addy Fisher, Ben Lawson as Liam Priory, Nicole Ari Parker as Susan Oppenheim and Mehcad Brooks as Malcolm Bennet.

Guest starring are Rachelle LeFevre ("Twilight") as Katie, Reggie Lee as Robert, Sarah Habel as Erin, Meredith Monroe as Molly, Maxwell Huckabee as Will, Abigail Marlowe as Lisa, William Schallert as Mr. Douglas, Timothy Omundson as Mr. Ollerman, Noa Tishby as Rachel, Richard Gant as Judge Cole and Kate Burton as Mrs. Graham.

"Pilot" was written by David Hemingson and directed by Michael Fresco.

The series executive producers are David Hemingson and Jan Nash. It is from Twentieth Century Fox Television.
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