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'Family Law' stars discuss secrets of their success

Kathleen Quinlan, left, and Julie Warner, right, play co-workers in the CBS drama "Family Law"  

January 27, 2000
Web posted at: 1:07 p.m. EST (1807 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Women are the powerful figures in the new hour-long drama "Family Law," which airs on CBS Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET. Kathleen Quinlan plays Lynn Holt, an attorney whose husband leaves her for another woman, taking their entire law practice -- staff, clients and furniture.

All Holt has left is an expensive, newly signed lease with a view of her husband's new office just across the way. Only her ambitious junior associate Danni Lipton, played by Julie Warner, stands by her.

To keep the office -- and her career -- Holt forms a new firm, hiring two family lawyers who are somewhat questionable. One of them is Dixie Carter's character, Randi King, a convicted murderer. King's mantra is, "I hate men, and I play very dirty."

Quinlan salutes the writing staff for creating such strong female characters.

"I think that's a great credit to our writers -- Anne Kenney, Paul Haggis, David Shore and Stephen Nathan -- that they're willing to take that chance," she says.

Estrogen relief

Christopher McDonald plays the lone male lead Rex Weller, an attorney who joined Holt's brood after his own firm flopped. He's jokingly referred to as "estrogen relief."

"I add a little testosterone to the mix," McDonald says, "That's good because they can use ... a little help, and I can use a little bit of that, you know, 'I'm in touch with my feminine side.'

McDonald plays the lone male attorney in Lynn Holt's (Kathleen Quinlan) legal practice

"The show is a pleasure to do because it's smart, and it's sexy, and it's real, and it gets into people's hearts."

"Family Law" airs against ABC's "Once and Again" and NBC's "Third Watch." Warner says it has garnered a loyal following because the cast and crew are consistently doing good work.

"The writing is great, the directing is great, the acting is great. The wardrobe, the hair and makeup. Everything."

Carter, 60, takes great pride in the show, too, saying it's the best thing to come her way since "Designing Women." In that series, which ran from 1986 to 1993, she played the role of the genteel Southerner Julia Sugarbaker, a part that bears little kinship to King.

"I'm thrilled to get a chance to play a real true murderess who's also an ex-convict and a very exciting woman," Carter says. "(King is ) nothing at all like me."

Something familiar: Monday night fall TV
August 31, 2000
TV shows learn fate as networks reshuffle lineups
May 18, 1999

CBS: 'Family Law'
Columbia TriStar Television: 'Family Law'
ABC: 'Once and Again'
NBC: 'Third Watch'
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