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Ally McMakeover: Four In, Two Out
The law offices of Cage and Fish might want to install a revolving door.
After four seasons, Fox's Ally McBeal is undergoing a major casting shakeup, as two series regulars are leaving and four others may be signing on.
Both James LeGros and Lisa Nicole Carson are parting ways with David E. Kelley's hit show, although Carson's character may make guest appearances in some episodes next season.
Taking their place will be Josh Hopkins (The Perfect Storm, Windtalkers) and Regina Hall (Scary Movie), while two others--James Marsden (of X-Men fame) and Julianne Nicholson (The Love Letter, Passion of Mind)--are in final negotiations to join the series.
Hall, whose credits also include Love & Basketball and Scary Movie's upcoming sequel, will reprise her role from last season, when she appeared in three episodes as Robert Downey Jr.'s associate. Marsden, the handsome, erstwhile mutant Cyclops from last summer's comic-book flick, may play a potential love interest for Ally (one that, hopefully, won't end up in rehab), and Nicholson may play a lawyer. A pretty lawyer. No word on what Hopkins' role will be.
For awhile, there's been talk that Ally McBeal would lose more than just LeGros and Carson heading into next fall. Some have speculated that Lucy Liu and Peter MacNicol might also scale back their appearances on the show, but the two are still in negotiations with 20th Century Fox Television. "They're still talking to the powers that be about their availability for next year," says studio spokesman Chris Alexander.
Alexander also confirms that the Fish of Fish and Cage, Greg Germann, is indeed returning next season, despite previous speculation that he might bow out.
The Emmy-winning series, starring Calista Flockhart, has already gone through its share of casting changes over the years. This past season, drug and court troubles led to the abrupt departure of Robert Downey Jr., who came aboard as Ally's love interest, Larry Paul. Previous cast defections have included Gil Bellows and Courtney Thorne-Smith.
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