NBC's The Firm, a television sequel to the hit John Grisham-adapted film from the early 1990s that starred Tom Cruise, has been alternating between good and bad news as the show preps to shoot this month in Toronto. After lining up a pretty solid cast, the legal drama ironically got embroiled in a legal-rights dispute between CBS and NBC. However, this snafu hasn't stopped the show's casting efforts, and now another talented actress is joining The Firm.

Before diving into the casting news, it's worth taking a minute to discuss the roller-coaster ride of bringing this once best-selling property to the small screen. It seems that series creator/writer Lukas Reiter first brought the project to CBS three years back before retooling the show and landing at NBC. However, CBS is claiming that Reiter did so without their permission, hence the legal objections (for more detail on the rights issues, check out Leslie's piece here).

Kelly, in her posts about the show throughout the various stages of development, has already voiced some concerns (which I completely share): namely why bring a 15+ year old project to television when, let's face it, there is little cachet left in the property, or even in John Grisham. Despite all these fears, Kelly and I also agree that they are at least assembling formidable actors to take on the project (first by casting Josh Lucas and then Juliette Lewis and Callum Keith Rennie). This trend continues with the latest hire, Molly Parker.

THR announced that "Deadwood's Molly Parker has landed the female lead opposite Josh Lucas in NBC's upcoming series The Firm. Parker will play Abby in the legal drama, based on John Grisham's best-selling novel." She will play Lucas' wife, Abby McDeere (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn in the Tom Cruise flick) on the show and brings her pedigree to the project as a former cast-member of Deadwood and Dexter. Good news for a project that has been getting more of the bad variety of late.

The show is set 10 years after the novel/film and finds McDeere (Lucas) returning to the law after years in witness protection. Production will commence this month in Toronto, filming a full 22-episode order, and is scheduled to air in the post-Sunday Night Football slot on NBC.

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