'Fairly Legal': USA Network Co-President Reveals How Season 2 Will Be Different

"We didn't really think we executed it as well as we might have," Jeff Wachtel tells THR of its first season.
Alan Zenuk/USA Network
"Fairly Legal"

When Fairly Legal returns for its second season next year, things will look very different for the USA Network drama.

The hourlong series about a mediator, played by Sarah Shahi, lured 3.9 million viewers to its debut, below other USA series launches. Shortly after Fairly Legal was officially renewed in early May, creator Michael Sardo stepped down as day-to-day showrunner and Pushing Daisies executive producer Peter Ocko took over for the new season.

"Fairly Legal is a very interesting situation for us because we felt that we had a great idea," Jeff Wachtel, co-president of the network, told The Hollywood Reporter. "We didn't really think we executed it as well as we might have. It was a good show, but maybe it wasn't a great show."

"The idea of somebody whose life is conflict resolution, but not necessarily mean that their life is boring, there's a way to approach that much more actively and really use Sarah Shahi's great strengths to their greatest benefit," he explained.

With a new showrunner on board, Wachtel said things will go back to the series' strong points, achieved near the beginning of its rookie season.

"The theme of the series in the second season will be a lot more like the pilot of the first season, where it's unapologetic," Wachtel revealed. "Her jumping in where she's not wanted, but where she really is needed to shake things up. It's not going to be a show about a mediator. We now call that 'the M-word.' We're not going to use that word."

He added: "It's really a show about somebody who almost likes to create conflict in order to resolve it."

Email: philiana.ng@thr.com