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Ready for a Blues Brothers reunion? CBS’ upcoming rookie legal drama The Defenders certainly is, according to co-creator/executive producer Kevin Kennedy.
The creative team behind the series, in which Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi play Las Vegas defense attorneys, has eyes on Dan Aykroyd to guest star as a tough judge who clashes with Belushi’s unorthodox lawyer.
“We have a lot planned and we certainly have a dream list,” Kennedy told THR on Friday at the Paley Center’s CBS Fall TV preview night in Beverly Hills. “The [guest star] we’ve talked about most recently, and we’ll see if we can get it arranged — it’s a scheduling thing and it wouldn’t happen until the end of the year if it happens this year — we want to get Dan Aykroyd together with Jim.”
Jim Belushi’s brother, John Belushi, and Aykroyd, originally played brothers Jake and Elwood Blues as part of a musical sketch on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and later on the big screen in John Landis’ 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Jim Belushi has stepped in for his late brother and continues to make regular appearances with Aykroyd at music festivals across the globe.
“I don’t want to give away too much of what may happen between them, but we have something brewing,” said Kennedy, who noted that the Vegas setting leaves the door open for “all kinds of crazy people to come in.”
As for bringing O’Connell’s wife, Rebecca Romijn, on for a guest spot, Kennedy said that remains a distinct possibility.
“That’s certainly possible; we thought about her for a role early in the year then decided to save her for something better,” he said.
O’Connell, meanwhile, hopes the series will tap into some of the real legal cases that have come before Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese, the Las Vegas attorneys on whom the series is based.
“When I saw Paris [Hilton] getting busted last week I thought, ‘Here we go, a little storyline happening,’ ” he joked. “Actually, I thought it would be funny if we could somehow get in touch with her and get Cristalli & Saggese to represent her.”
Added Belushi: “She could use them, too, because it’s a tough legal system there in Vegas. They put people away. They got O.J. [Simpson] — we couldn’t get O.J. but they did.”
The Defenders premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
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Jamie Lee Curtis
Monday Night Football