Murder One back – but as something else

Daniel Benzali in Murder OneMurder One was one of those great shows that are ahead of their time. Created by Steven Bochco, who also created Hill Street Blues, it followed a single court case for the length of an entire season. Trouble was, back in those pre-Lost, pre-24 days, no one could be arsed to keep up with a plot that lasted for 22-odd episodes; by the second season, the superb lead, Daniel Benzali, had been replaced, and the show chose to focus on cases for only a few episodes at a time.

Now it’s back, apparently. CBS has commissioned a pilot for a new series, as yet untitled, that will follow a single case for an entire season. It will be written by Six Feet Under writer-producer Kate Robin. Where it differs from Murder One, which dealt purely with the defence lawyers and the defendants, is that it will focus on the lead lawyers on both sides of the case, along with half the members of the jury and the judge.

Nevertheless, for those of us who loved the original Murder One, there’s a twinge of sadness as we think of what might have been and how the show might have done in this age of high-quality US TV.

PS It’s available on DVD, but still isn’t at discount prices yet. It will be though, so let’s be patient.

  • My wife and I watched series 1 of Murder One earlier in the summer – 3 or 4 episodes a night for a week. The standard is so high. The one point that irked me was the resolution was a little too tight. As a lawyer I know that adversarial litigation simply presents two alternate realities with much room for shading. Rarely if ever is either side completely right. To have all of Hoffman’s assertions on the case come to pass did not ring true. However, this is a minor point in relation to one of the finest modern US dramas.

  • I demand a repeat!

  • I loved Murder One with the magnificent Benzali – I seem to remember it came in the same period of time as “Our Friends…” etc. I even tolerated Murder One – season 2 if only because it was my first intro to Anthony LaPaglia… Was that one of his first big roles?

  • He’d been in plenty of stuff before, but that was really his first leading role in a TV series, rather than a serial, TV movie, etc.

  • Murder One Series One was fantastic. I only know one person who didn’t enjoy it, and that was my old university mate and lawyer, Richard Cross.