While not everyone would think of Walsh — best known for her dramatic work on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” — as a comedian, executive producer Anne Heche always had the actress in mind. “It was my fantasy that she would play her,” Heche explains. “Then voila, she appeared!”
Along with Walsh, the producers worked hard to point out that Walsh’s character is believable. That character, Rebecca Wright, is a relatively young judge and such a mess in her personal life that it’s hard to even correlate that with a brilliant legal career. Executive producer Liz Brixius says the two don’t always go hand-in-hand: “She was an exceptional law student, effortlessly, just a great brain.” Heche agrees, saying “I saw her behavior as sort of a balance … because she holds so many people’s lives in her hands.”
Even the relative youth of Judge Wright has an easy explanation: There are judges that young. “Apparently when Schwarzenegger was governor, he appointed a lot of lady judges,” Walsh jokes. The cast also went to interview and shadow actual judges, one of whom was a woman of Walsh’s age.
The people behind “Bad Judge” want a comedy that is, in the end, just something to make audiences laugh — with just a little bit of seriousness thrown in. “We’re coming out of the Will Farrell-Adam McKay world,” Brixius says of the show’s Funny or Die roots. “I’m sure there’ll be some sort of heart-breaking stuff to balance it out.”
If nothing else, there is a single quote from Walsh about the tone of “Bad Judge”: “We’re not doing ‘Law & Order.’
“Bad Judge” premieres Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.