Cables top-rated network, USA had their upfronts yesterday and co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber announced that they will renew Fairly Legal for a second season after a solid debut season. During the Thursday night 10PM time slot, the legal drama/comedy starring Sarah Shahi averaged 4.6 million total viewers in Live+7 day ratings.
Fairly Legal is about Kate Reed (Shahi) a top lawyer at her father’s firm in San Francisco who has an ethical conflict with what she does for a living. Kate decides instead to switch and become a mediator, but when her father dies and leaves the firm to his wife, Kate’s stepmother, played by Virginia Williams, in charge. Michael Trucco and Baron Vaughn also star on the show as Kate’s ex-husband/assistant District Attorney of San Francisco Justin Patrick and her assistant Leonardo.
Shahi became an instant draw for the network displaying great talent and beauty, but the show at times found it hard to brand its identity in being a snarky, banter-filled dramedy like many other USA network shows or if it wanted to go the serious legal drama route. Changes on the show are to be expected as Jeff Wachtel said, “Not every first season is the best, and we think it is a show that can do better.”
It remains to be seen what those creative changes will be but expect creator Michael Sardo to come up with something to keep and grow its audience. 13 episodes will begin production in late summer and will air in early 2012.