It’s certainly not the job of every TV show to make its viewers feel good, but Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer leaves fans feeling hopeful and uplifted.
It’s a combination of Manuel Garcia-Rulfo’s glass-half-full, root-for-the-underdog public defender, Mickey Haller, and the world in which he lives. In this version of Los Angeles, everyone gets justice and second chances.
The show is based on the series of bestselling novels by Michael Connelly. The series was created for TV by David E. Kelley and Ted Humphrey, who serves as co-showrunner and executive producer alongside Dailyn Rodriguez. The fabulous cast includes Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, and Angus Sampson.
Humphrey, well known for his work on The Good Wife, sums it up best when asked about the behind-the-scenes of it all. “We love making this show.”
The viewer has felt the love since Season One premiered on May 13, 2022. The ten-episode first season, based on the second book in Connelly’s beloved book series, “The Brass Verdict,” was an immediate fan favorite.
Within the first two weeks, the show topped the English TV list with more than 108 million hours watched, making it the most-viewed title during its second week on the platform. In addition, the legal thriller made the Top 10 in 90 countries.
The ten-episode second season was released in two five-episode parts. Part One premiered on July 6, and Part Two was released on August 3. This season is based on the fourth book in the series, “The Fifth Witness.”
Since Season Two premiered, The Lincoln Lawyer has been on Netflix’s U.S. Top 10 chart for five weeks. It’s currently sitting atop the list in the No. 1 spot, with its second season garnering 6.7 million views (more than 55 million hours of view time).
Humphrey and his team left fans with quite the cliffhanger, so we want to know if a third season is in the works. It’s a fair question, but he clarifies that another season has not been officially greenlit yet. Such decisions aren’t being made amid the Hollywood strike. However, as history has shown, the streamer does tend to pick up those shows with high viewing numbers, which this one certainly has.
Humphrey credits the rich world and lovable characters Connelly, who executive produces and writes on the series, created in his books. “Michael has created this wonderful world, and the first thing we’re trying to do is honor that and his work.”
And, adds Humphrey, he feels fortunate to collaborate with Connelly on the series. “He’s amazing to work with, and he’s very involved. I’ve never had the opportunity before to work so closely with the novelist whose work you’re adapting. That’s usually a process that you’re removed from. Often, the novelist is very precious about the work. Michael is the opposite of that. He’s super collaborative. He’s the first person to pitch changes to, and that’s such a refreshing thing.”
To get the tone just right, they needed to cast the perfect actor to portray Mickey, and per Humphrey, they knew instantly upon viewing Garcia-Rulfo’s audition tape that he was the person for the job.
Garcia-Rulfo auditioned with a scene from the pilot in which Mickey defends Raycole’s Izzy in court. “It’s classic Mickey. It’s got humor; he’s cleverly twisting some element of the law to his favor, charming the judge and manipulating the prosecutor. We just knew that this was our guy. We said, ‘‘That’s it. That’s our Mickey Haller.’”
Though English is not Garcia-Rulfo’s first language, Humphrey talks about how effortless he makes it all look. “I think great stars have that quality. I think it’s that Cary Grant quality. Even though playing a lawyer is not easy for him, Manuel makes it look easy. There are a lot of complicated legal terms, and he puts an enormous amount of thought into it. He’s one of these actors who does a lot of research, and we have legal consultants, but what comes out is this seemingly effortless performance where you can’t take your eyes off him.”
As for the hopeful quality of the show, Humphrey says that comes from the optimism in Mickey’s character. “The whole show is about a guy pulling himself back up from his poor choices, yet he never loses a fundamental hopefulness for the future.”
About a third season, Humphrey explained that they were in the process of mapping it out when Hollywood went on strike, and they had to shut down their writers’ room. Should they get the green light once the strike is over, they have a plan.
“The good news is we know what the third season is. We were in the process of building it,” Humphrey says. “We have at least two more seasons in mind. We know exactly what they are.”
With seven books in “The Lincoln Lawyer” book series, Humphrey and his team have plenty of good stories to work with for future seasons. And Connelly is expected to add a new one to the collection this fall.
“We love making the show,” reiterates Humphrey. “And we love that people enjoy it. We want to make it for as long as people want to watch it.”
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