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‘Your Honor’: Showtime Unveils First Clip Of Bryan Cranston Limited Legal Drama
By Peter White

EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has debuted the first clip for Bryan Cranston’s limited legal drama Your Honor.

The ten-part series is exec produced by The Good Fight duo Robert and Michelle King and The Night Of’s Peter Moffat, who also writes. Cranston stars and exec produces.

The Breaking Bad star plays a respected judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run in New Orleans that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices.

Truth Be Told’s Hunter Doohan plays Cranston’s son, a high school senior who is involved in the hit-and-run accident. Michael Stuhlbarg plays crime boss Jimmy Baxter, while Sofia Black D’Elia, Carmen Ejogo, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Hope Davis also star.

The American’s Margo Martindale recurs, playing Senator Elizabeth Guthrie, the mother of the deceased wife of Cranston’s Michael Desiato, while Amy Landecker, Lilli Kay, Tony Curran, Keith Machekanyanga, Lamar Johnson and Benjamin Flores, Jr. also feature.

The series is being adapted from the Israeli series Kvodo, created by Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach, produced by Ram Landes and airing on the country’s Yes TV.

Moffat serves as showrunner, executive producer and will write multiple episodes, including the first episode. The series is produced by CBS TV Studios in association with Robert and Michelle King’s King Size Productions. Liz Glotzer (The Good Fight), Alon Aranya and Rob Golenberg (Hostages) of Scripted World and James Degus will also serve as executive producers. Edward Berger (Patrick Melrose) directs the first three episodes.





Looks good.
 

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Maura Tierney To Recur On Showtime’s Bryan Cranston Limited Legal Drama ‘Your Honor’

EXCLUSIVE: Maura Tierney is sticking with Showtime. The Affair star is to recur on Your Honor, the limited legal drama fronted by Bryan Cranston.

She joins the Showtime drama, which sees the Breaking Bad star plays Michael Desiato, a respected judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run in New Orleans that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices.

Tierney plays Fiona McKee, a fearless prosecutor trying a major case in Desiato’s courtroom in four episodes of the show.

Truth Be Told’s Hunter Doohan plays Cranston’s son, a high school senior who is involved in the hit-and-run accident. Michael Stuhlbarg plays crime boss Jimmy Baxter, while Sofia Black D’Elia, Carmen Ejogo, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Hope Davis also star. The Americans’ Margo Martindale recurs, playing Senator Elizabeth Guthrie, the mother of the deceased wife of Cranston’s Michael Desiato, while Amy Landecker, Lilli Kay, Tony Curran, Keith Machekanyanga, Lamar Johnson and Benjamin Flores, Jr. also feature.

The series is being adapted from the Israeli series Kvodo, created by Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach, produced by Ram Landes and airing on the country’s Yes TV.

The ten-part series, which launches in December, is exec produced by The Good Fight duo Robert and Michelle King and The Night Of’s Peter Moffat, who also writes. Cranston also exec produces.

Moffat serves as showrunner, executive producer and will write multiple episodes, including the first episode. The series is produced by CBS TV Studios in association with Robert and Michelle King’s King Size Productions. Liz Glotzer (The Good Fight), Alon Aranya and Rob Golenberg (Hostages) and James Degus will also serve as executive producers. Edward Berger (Patrick Melrose) directs the first three episodes. Ninio, Mashiach, Landes, Ron Eilon and Danna Stern also serve as executive producers.

Tierney also stars in Showtime’s upcoming series Rust opposite Jeff Daniels. Other recent appearances include in The Report, Beautiful Boy and Anything, as well as the anthology series Electric Dreams, which also featured Cranston. She is best known for her work on ER.

Tierney is repped by United Talent Agency, Untitled Entertainment and The Initiative Group.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
No reviews yet and premiers next Sunday.

Oh well worth checking out for the cast alone.
‘Your Honor’: Bryan Cranston & An Excellent Cast Carry Showtime’s Promising Crime Drama [Review]

There’s a centerpiece scene in the series premiere of Showtime’s Your Honor” that’s among the best of the year. A New Orleans judge named Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) has returned home to find his son Adam (Hunter Doohan), rattled and apparently injured. The boy can barely speak, quietly muttering what happened that morning to his powerful father through tears. Adam was in the Ninth Ward, visiting the spot of his mother’s murder, which happened a year ago. As he was driving away, Adam had an asthma attack, and crashed his car into another young man on a motorcycle. He went to help but watched the life drain from his eyes. And then the scared kid drove away. Doohan is strong here, but it’s Cranston who captivates, finding the balance between a father’s emotional response and someone who knows every aspect of the legal process. While comforting his only child, he starts using words like “shock” and “trauma,” already building a reasonably plausible story to protect his boy. It’s a great scene as written and it’s elevated by Cranston’s smart choices.

Over the first four episodes sent to press, “Your Honor” has several powerful scenes, usually the ones in which Cranston is allowed the most nuanced character work. Sadly, it also suffers a bit from the plague of the modern television era in that this feels like this story is probably six episodes of television that’s been stretched to ten. However, the ensemble finds a way to make that stretch bearable and often entertaining. At least for now.

Adapting an Israeli series named “Kvodo,” writer Peter Moffat (“The Night Of”) sets the stage for the season with a tense premiere. Adam is a student photographer who happens to be sleeping with his teacher Frannie (Sofia Black-D’Elia), whom he leaves before heading to the Ninth Ward. At the same time, a powerful crime lord named Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg) is gifting his son Rocco with a gorgeous antique motorcycle. Rocco takes off as Adam leaves a photo of his mother at the convenience store, where she was shot exactly a year ago in a botched robbery. As he drives away, he draws attention from locals—Adam doesn’t belong here. He starts to panic a bit, can’t reach his inhaler, and plows into a speeding Rocco.

Michael Desiato’s shock at his son’s decision to run shifts over the first episode in ways that won’t be spoiled, but the fact that the victim was the son of a powerful villain in the city matters a great deal. If Adam goes to jail, he wouldn’t last more than minutes given Baxter’s connections. And so Michael is faced with more intense and immediate decisions than is typical for the “protective father” subgenre of crime fiction. It’s the story of the son of a good man killing the son of a bad man, which adds a layer of subtext that only grows when Michael’s attempts to protect Adam draw in another young man, a resident of the Ninth Ward named Kofi Jones (Lamar Johnson). Privilege and race become factors in the story of “Your Honor” in a way that recalls Moffat’s work on “Night Of” without as much emphasis on the social dynamics or inequity.

“Your Honor” also becomes a bit of a thriller as Michael juggles evidence against Adam along with his son’s increasing spiral into guilt and trauma. Cranston turns on that Walter White switch at times, portraying an average guy willing to go to extremes to accomplish his goals and protect his family. In many ways, this is the closest character to White that he’s played since the end of “Breaking Bad,” and he’s quite simply very good at this kind of thing. He captures the manner in which Michael is unafraid of anything that is required of him to save his son, while also knowing the legal minefield better than most people.

Cranston is far from alone in this ace cast, although Stuhlbarg and Hope Davis as his wife Gina are given disappointingly little to do in the first four. Davis in particular is a good actress directed to go to 11 here in terms of grief and vengeance—she’s the Lady Macbeth pushing Jimmy to defend his son’s honor—and she sometimes feels like she’s on a cheesier show than anybody else. Stuhlbarg glowers and scowls, but one hopes there’s more to this villain in the back half of the season than the thin character he’s been given so far.

The extended ensemble is also excellent, including Isiah Whitlock Jr. as a power player in the city who’s planning a run for Mayor, Carmen Ejogo as a defender who Michael draws into the case, and Amy Landecker as a cop who worked the case of the death of Michael’s wife and gets drawn into this one too. Margo Martindale pops up in the fourth episode just in time to give the season a much-needed jolt of adrenalin. Her appearance follows a frustrating third episode that feels like it would have been about 5-10 minutes of the feature-length film version of this story. The modern problem with Prestige TV is length as every producer seems to think longer is better. “Your Honor” has enough characters and plot that it’s hard to say it would have worked as a single feature film, but the four episodes sent to press don’t convince that it needed ten hours either. There is a happy medium.

Some of the contrivances in “Your Honor” start to pile up in episode four, especially during a dinner scene that really stretches credulity, but honestly, that’s the kind of thing this show is going to need to maintain momentum for six more hours. It’s at its best when it’s throwing new problems at Michael Desiato and forcing him to “Walter White” his way through them. Some of its themes of race and injustice feel like window dressing, but one hopes those become denser as the season progresses.

Four hours into “Your Honor,” there’s a lot of potential for greatness to come balanced with reasonable concern given how much time is left on the clock. The ensemble could get richer and the story could get more thrilling, or it could spin its wheels until an action-packed finale. The four episodes sent have shown signs of both tendencies. In the end, the jury is still out. [B-]

'Your Honor': Bryan Cranston & An Excellent Cast Carry Showtime’s Promising Crime Drama [Review] (theplaylist.net)
 

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With Your Honor, Bryan Cranston hopes audiences are ready to see past Walter White

Seven years after the conclusion of Breaking Bad, the six-time Emmy winner discusses his TV return.

Bryan Cranston has done it all during his nearly 40 years in Hollywood, including playing a judge. Or at least he thinks he has. With more than 100 credits to his name, it’s hard for him to keep track, but Your Honor does definitely mark one first: Cranston leading a post–Breaking Bad series.

Seven years after wrapping his legendary run as drug kingpin Walter White, the 64-year-old actor is back playing a law-abiding man who turns to crime to help his family. This time around, there’s no meth empire — rather, a father forced to choose between protecting his son and upholding the law after a deadly hit-and-run.

Ahead of Your Honor's Sunday limited series premiere on Showtime, Cranston spoke to EW about needing a break from White, waiting for the right Breaking Bad followup, and exploring the lengths a parent will go for their child.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I'm sure the “TV return of Bryan Cranston” is something that many people have been interested in being a part of over the last few years, so was it deliberate on your end to give some space between Breaking Bad and your next TV vehicle? Maybe let audiences forget a bit about Walter White?

BRYAN CRANSTON:
That was exactly my thinking. And I came up an arbitrary number, which I stuck to. Once I knew Breaking Bad was ending, I thought, “Okay, I’ll give it three years before I show up on television again.” And that’s what I did. I felt like I needed a break from the character, and I think fans needed a break from the character in order to accept me as whoever I was going to become next. So it was kind of a mutual thought that it was for me and the audience. You don’t want to stay too long at a party, and sometimes if actors work too much then it’s like, “Oh God, again?!” [Laughs] “Haven’t I just seen him in three movies?" They get kind of fatigued by it, I think, so it’s better to be a little more choosy. And so that’s why I went and did Broadway and did a play in London and just got on a different medium to be able to express myself.

Is it hard to commit to a new series following such incredible success with Breaking Bad? It’s almost, like, how can I ever find a job like that again? Or can you not look at it that way?

You can, and you do. I think my comedy Malcolm in the Middle set the bar high on a situation comedy, and then the bar is equally high on the drama side with Breaking Bad. So that’s why it took so long for me to want to commit to something of more than just one appearance in a show. It had to be the right thing, and I think Your Honor is the right thing.

What made Your Honor that right thing?

Whenever there’s a character who is facing an emotional, ethical dilemma, it draws me in. And with this dramatic construct of having your son make a mistake and panic and leave the scene of an accident, which results in a death, is disturbing and very, very possible. You go, “Yeah, I think under stress and shock, you could make a mistake like that.” That possibility lends itself to some really terrific drama.

You’ve shown throughout your career that you don’t want to be put in a box, like when you transitioned from Hal on Malcolm to Walt on Breaking Bad. No one expected that. So was there something that felt unique to you about this character of Judge Michael Desiato?

Compared to Walter, he’s older and the situation was equally stressful for the guy but different. There is some similarities to it; if you draw a Venn diagram there would be some overlap where he is experiencing tremendous anxiety and stress and pressure and threats. But I think what ultimately got me was that the nature of goodness and when someone tries to become someone they’re not. This is what was similar to Walter White, he tried to become someone he’s not and that’s the same thing here. Someone venturing out away from who they are to gain something else, and I think that’s a great life lesson: to be genuine, authentic, honest, forthright, noble. And all of those things are questionable in my character Michael Desiato.

So much of this series is about the lengths people will go for their children. As a parent, was that something that you instinctively felt?

I think if you were to ask any parent, "What is your worst nightmare?” — and unless the parent is irresponsible or coldhearted — that person is going to say, “Something happening to my child.” You ask a parent, “Would you give your life for the life of your child?” And it’s, like, “Yes. Yes, I would.” If you had to be faced with that option, you would. So if something happens to your child, it’s a piece of your heart that is broken. That’s the depth of it. Are you a father yet?

No, not yet.

Well, you’ll see. You’ll see how for the first time in your life you’ll feel a depth of love and joy that you’ve never felt before. But on the opposite side of that coin is a vulnerability and fear that you’ve never felt before. That’s just what parents go through. And it’s worth it, because, ultimately, it’s a beautiful experience of human life. But there is risk involved.

In playing this out, is it something that you had to think about yourself, like what you would do?

Anytime that something is well-constructed, as this series is, it’s easier for the actor to find themselves in a position of compassion and empathy for their character, and that’s from an objective viewpoint. And once you sign on and you start to get subjective about it, you have faith that what you initially felt is what the audience will ultimately feel as well.

From what I've seen so far, there's no traditional villain here. Like Michael Stuhlbarg's character is a vicious mob boss but he's also a grieving father looking for the person who killed his son. Did that approach stand out to you as well?

What Breaking Bad helped to contribute to is the raising of the bar as far as dramatic storytelling across the board. The idea that anyone is one-dimensional is boring. If you have a bad guy who just hates people and loves to kill others, it’s like, "Eh, okay." What’s more interesting is to see a bad guy put three bullets in someone, put his gun away, and then go home and be loving and tender to his little daughter — that’s frightening! That’s when you go, “Oh my god, what is that guy like?! I’m really fascinated with that.” We are adaptable human beings and we're are also able to compartmentalize, so one could be a Brutus person to one group and be soft and vulnerable in another. It’s certainly more interesting in the narrative.

Like Albuquerque on Breaking Bad, New Orleans is a vital character on Your Honor. What extra flavor did that city add?

There’s a vibrancy, a history, a sexiness to it — the life, the food, the jazz, the people. And there’s also an underbelly to New Orleans that can’t be denied. We have a line when my character talks to his friend and I say, “But is what you’re doing legal?” And he says, “It’s New Orleans legal.” [Laughs] You kind of get it.

Did you finish filming before the COVID shutdown?

No, I’m in New Orleans now. We have two more months of shooting. I’m acting, producing, and directing, so I’m spinning a lot of plates now. We’re still in pre-production, but there’s a tremendous attention to the COVID protocols and adhering to that. Boy, it will be a big victory for us if we can get through and none of our 275 cast and crew get sick. I think that would be something to be proud of.

You’ve had such a long career and seemingly done it all. What is something you still want to do? Where is your attention next?

I want to rest. [Laughs] My next project is rest. I’m very fortunate I can determine my own future, so I will hopefully choose wisely. I was kind of joking, but in a way kind of not. I only want to do projects that I’m extremely passionate about; anything less than that is foolish. So I think I might be working a little less than I normally have. I say that but there are several things in the pipeline that are in various stages of development, and any one of those could come to fruition soon. Nothing for the rest of this year, just focusing on Your Honor and directing the last episode, so I’ll be hyper-focused and super busy on that.

Have you played a judge before? I looked through your extensive IMDB but it's hard to tell for sure.

I probably have. It seems to me that I have. I don’t remember offhand.

Well, now that you are TV's newest judge, I was hoping you could help me with a few quick rulings. You're a diehard baseball fan, so the charge here is that Major League Baseball needs to permanently switch from 10 to 16 playoff teams, like they just did for the shortened COVID season.

That should be found guilty and sent to the chair or life imprisonment. I don’t like the expanded playoffs because you have really good teams that on any given day could have not a great game and lose it and then the pressure and tension, like you saw with the Chicago Cubs losing two games. I think they’re a better team than the Marlins, so I was surprised by that. I think when you have best of five that’s a better sampling to see how good a team is.

A film that has been talked about a lot this year was 2011's Contagion, which you starred in. This charge is for now feeling too real for a rewatch.

Guilty. Too real — and you have to watch it.

Your Honor: Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston on returning to TV | EW.com
 

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Your Honor Review: Bryan Cranston's Legal Thriller Is Criminally Dumb

Grade: D+

Bryan Cranston‘s return to dramatic television should be cause for celebration, right? After all, his turn as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White, a meek chemistry teacher who transformed into a sinister drug lord before our very eyes, is one of TV’s all-time great performances...it’s a shame, then, that his new Showtime limited series Your Honor — premiering this Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10/9c; I’ve seen the first four episodes — is such a letdown

graphically violent and morose, it rubs our noses in the ugly side of humanity for no good reason, and for a legal thriller, it’s remarkably dumb, with its characters making unforgivably boneheaded decisions at every turn...

 

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Yeah Alan Sepinwall was lukewarm on it too.

I'll still check it out because IIRC, City on a Hill didn't get sterling reviews either and that was more than watchable.
 

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Yeah Alan Sepinwall was lukewarm on it too.

I'll still check it out because IIRC, City on a Hill didn't get sterling reviews either and that was more than watchable.
I looked at Sepinwall's review...like you stated, lukewarm at best...

"the story already feels tired at the end of the fourth episode, making the prospect of it having to fill 10 total episodes seem especially daunting, regardless of how good the ensemble is"

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Showtime Offers First Episodes Of ‘Shameless’ Final Season & Bryan Cranston’s ‘Your Honor’, More For Free Into January

It’s beginning to look a lot like free Showtime content for Christmas. The premium cabler is gifting the premiere episodes of the final season of Shameless and the new Bryan Cranston limited series Your Honor as part of 60-plus hours of originals available today online, on streaming platforms and on-demand into mid-January.

Showtime Offers First Episodes Of ‘Shameless’ Season 11, ‘Your Honor’ For Free – Deadline
 

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I really enjoyed the first episode. There were a lot of eye rolling moments and things I couldn't believe a judge would not know what to do but hey, not everything can be perfect. Will be interesting to see if they can keep this up each week. At the end my wife said please tell me we can binge watch this. Sorry sweetie, one per week unless you want to wait and watch them all later. She wasn't happy she had to wait.
 

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Some people have said that this pales in comparison to BB and that Adam is unsympathetic.

Of course it doesn't have to be as good as BB to be worth watching.

Is Jimmy Baxter going to be as insane as Gus Fring in going after Michael and Adam?
 

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What? Is Bryan Cranston forever typecast as Walter White? I liked the first episode so will be keeping my Showtime subscription that I've had for years though the last couple months has been a little lean.
 

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What? Is Bryan Cranston forever typecast as Walter White? I liked the first episode so will be keeping my Showtime subscription that I've had for years though the last couple months has been a little lean.
Yeah I have too. Good Lord Bird was good but not something that I couldn't wait to watch the next episode.

They have a bunch of docs on and while those are okay, they're not enough for a subscription.

So after Shameless and Your Honor, I don't know what else is in the pipeline, guess Billions is due to come back but that show is not as good as it was and pales in comparison to Succession.


Oh they made a splash with the announcement of Dexter returning for a season. But that show went out on a low note too.
 

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I'm having a hard time watching the episode because its so cliched. Am I supposed to feel bad for the 'rich white kid stuck in black neighborhood' ?? sounds like a tv writers fantasy. And he's a criminal, a moron who doesn't know how to operate a washing machine or to stop his car for 5s and grab his inhaler. An extremely hard to relate to or to like character.

I just want him to go to jail and suffer for what he did. I don't want to see his dad pull all kinds of strings. I guess the show is about Cranston using legal tricks to save his son because it'd be so bad to do the honorable thing and turn him in, right?

The son and dad are both criminals. There are no doubts about that. I don't want another show about rich white people covering up their crimes and expecting viewers to root for them.

Also, do teenage girls now walk around without a bra or underwear ??
 

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So after Shameless and Your Honor, I don't know what else is in the pipeline, guess Billions is due to come back but that show is not as good as it was and pales in comparison to Succession.

Oh they made a splash with the announcement of Dexter returning for a season. But that show went out on a low note too.
Showtime needs to develop some sort of identity...Starz has Outlander which is their showcase title which drives subscriptions, HBO has a varied lineup of award winning shows both in their past and present...when I think of Showtime I can't think of 1 show which defines their programming (Homeland comes closest)
 
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