‘Family Law’ Set to Premiere on The CW Fall 2022

The CW is looking to expand its repertoire with hit shows, and it may have something with Family Law. The drama series was one of the top new shows in Canada since its premiere in September 2021.

'Family Law actor Jewel Staite speaking into a microphone
‘Family Law’ actor Jewel Staite | Erika Goldring/Getty Images

The news comes amid reports that Nexstar Media Group purchased a 75% stake in the network in June 2022, according to Collider. Despite its best efforts, the network hasn’t been profitable since 2006.

Not to be confused with the American TV drama series on CBS from 1999 to 2002, this show comes from north of the border in Canada. Will Family Law increase The CW’s overall ratings? 

When does ‘Family Law’ premiere on The CW?

Family Law will have its ten-episode season 1 premiere on The CW on Oct. 2, 2022, according to CW14. Seasons 2 and 3 will also have 10 episodes, but no release dates have been announced as of yet.

Hopefully, fans of the show will get to see this legal drama for many years to come.

How The CW acquired ‘Family Law’

Entertainment One reported in late March 2022 that the American network acquired the rights to air Family Law. It was the highest-rated scripted show in Canada, with 7.3 million total viewers in late 2021. It also airs in 150 territories around the world, including Australia and Brazil.

Whether successful or not, Family Law will certainly make the network more valuable as it looks for buyers. If these shows continue with their new owners remains up for debate. The original production team and the slate of actors will stay with the show following its acquisition.

The show represents an excellent fit for The CW because the network has a penchant for family drama series, including its hit Riverdale. Recent acquisitions also point toward the drama genre with Leonardo, Bump, and Professionals. Other international hits are on The CW’s slate.

Coroner, Wellington Paranormal, and Devils are all returning for new seasons in the next year. Will Family Law be enough to improve the ailing network’s slate of shows?

‘Family Law’ stars solid actors

The Canadian drama stars Jewel Staite (Firefly) as Abigail ‘Abby’ Bianchi, a recovering alcoholic who vomited in court and was placed on probation by the judge. It doesn’t help that her vomiting episode went viral on YouTube. As a condition of her probation, Abby must work at her family law firm despite her estrangement from them.

Playing her father, Harry Svensson, is veteran CW actor Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow), who was also in the hit movies Titanic and Legally Blonde. Zach Smadu and Genelle Williams play Abby’s grown half-siblings and round out the principal cast who must help her recover from her alcoholism while she navigates her new professional life.

Not only does Abby need to face her own family demons, but her family’s law firm specializes in family law issues. Each episode follows the trials and tribulations of the Svenssons’ personal demons while they protect their equally dysfunctional clients’ families and attempt to represent them in court. 

The Svenssons’ clients offer interesting perspectives on the family practice. The dysfunction among Abby’s father and siblings helps the lawyers relate to their clients going through their own dysfunctional families. It also gives them a greater appreciation for healing their own failings and frailties.

The show takes place in Vancouver, where each hour-long episode is produced.

Ratings seem to be favorable for Family Law. Collider reports it has a 95 percent audience rating on Google. Season 1 has a 7.5 rating out of 10 on IMDb.

Is the cast enjoying their time on ‘Family Law’?

CG Magazine interviewed two of the show’s stars in February 2022 following the success of their freshman season. Both said they were impressed by the writing.

Jewel Staite told the mag:

“I love the fact that it’s shot in Vancouver, which is where I’m from. I’m born and raised here … I also loved the script. I thought it was funny, kind of shocking and heartbreaking, it made me laugh and maybe cry. I felt like whoever gets this role is so very lucky, so I really campaigned for it, and I’m just so fortunate that they chose me.”

Victor Garber, who is also Canadian, chimed in about the writing and echoed his co-star’s sentiments.

“I was sent the script out of the blue from an agent in Toronto, Perry Zimel, who said they were interested in me to play this role and, really, I knew nothing. But I just arrived, and I was blown away by the writing.”

Both stars seem to be enjoying their time. The show is seen as witty and intelligent while giving fans of legal dramas a look at family law that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

Seasons 2 and 3 are on the docket for ‘Family Law’

Season 1 has already aired in Canada. Season 2 has yet to air even though production has already wrapped, probably because they await the fate of the sale of the network or the success of Family Law. The network has yet to announce when the sophomore season will air.

In May 2022, Global TV announced it had greenlit season 3 of Family Law, and it began production in Vancouver on May 24.

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