10:00am PT by Rakshita Saluja
Fall TV Pilot Preview: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
On the heels of the success of the award winning The Good Wife, CBS is looking toward another sassy legal drama with a strong female lead that premieres in the fall. Perhaps capitalizing on the recent fascination with all things New Jersey, the launch of the hourlong drama Made in Jersey replaces the network's long-running CSI: Miami on Fridays at 9 p.m.
The Hollywood Reporter screened the pilot for the drama Made in Jersey (previously called Baby Big Shot) -- one of the four picked up to series for fall, and as part of our Fall Preview 2012 have five things to know about the freshman entry before its launch.
1. Made in Jersey revolves around the career of a working-class woman played by Janet Montgomery (Entourage) trying to make it as a first-year associate at an uber-competitive prestigious law firm in New York. Montgomery's character, Martina Goretti, isn't your stereotypical pedigreed Manhattan lawyer. Hailing from across the river, Goretti is a sharp, tough, outspoken attorney who uses her inherent street smarts to compete with (and outwit) her more sophisticated colleagues. Her lack of an Ivy League education doesn't pose much of a hindrance as she pursues cases with chutzpah and lowbrow insights learned from time at the Trenton D.A.'s Office.
2. Goretti is the only college educated member of the family, but plenty of screen time is shared with them as they help her make tough deductions and support her all the while. The cast includes veteran actress Donna Murphy (Star Trek: Insurrection) who plays Goretti's supportive mother and Erin Cummings (Spartacus, Mad Men) portrays a wild but caring older sister, who shares a close, almost intrusive relationship with the savvy lawyer. At work, Goretti finds friendship and guidance from her equally brazen secretary played by Toni Trucks (Barbershop).
3. Because of its premise, the legal case acts as the plot in the pilot. And while there is little lingering mystery to the case involved, the story builds on developing Martina Goretti as a rising star in the posh law firm. What works for Montgomery's character, Goretti, in the cutthroat law firm is her willingness to stay true to her roots and outspoken about what she believes in, even if that means fashion tricks and hair products have a role in solving a murder.
4. The show co-stars Kyle MacLachlan who plays the firms top executive, Donavan Stark. Similar to his roles in Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, MacLachlan's character is charming, intelligent and highly successful. While Stark remains a bit of a mystery through the pilot, he also appears particularly intrigued by Goretti's tenacity, much to the dismay of her female superiors.
5. The series hails from writer/co-executive producer Dana Calvo (Franklin & Bash), and was directed by Mark Waters, with Jamie Tarses, Julia Franz and Kevin Falls on board executive producers.
Made in Jersey premieres this fall on Fridays at 9 p.m. Check out a trailer, below. Will you watch?