Al D'Amato in for court pilot

Former senator would hear small-claims cases

Al D'Amato, having made his mark in the legislative branch of government, is ready to move on to the judicial system.

Twentieth Television is planning to shoot a pilot for a potential court show featuring the former U.S. senator from New York.

D'Amato would be encouraged to bring his own brand of humor and larger-than-life personality to the bench. A Republican who served in the Senate from 1981-99, D'Amato was known for his lengthy and at times comical filibusters on the Senate floor, one of which found him singing "South of the Border."

The project revolves around small-claims cases, which makes sense given D'Amato's background. He earned the nickname "Senator Pothole" for his willingness to meet with constituents and help them with their individual cases, however modest.

The pilot is likely to be shot in Los Angeles.

D'Amato is repped by Rebel Entertainment Partners, which packaged the project.

Court is one of the most robust genres in first-run syndication, with no fewer than 11 shows on the air and two more -- Sony's "Judge Karen" and Program Partners' "Family Court With Judge Penny" -- set to debut in the fall. Court shows are perceived as one of the safer bets in daytime because they continue to draw solid ratings, led by perennial front-runner "Judge Judy."

Twentieth distributes "Cristina's Court," "Judge Alex" and "Divorce Court," all of which are renewed through next season.
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