'All Rise's Judge Lola Carmichael Sees 'the Person First, Not the Crime'

Mandi Bierly
ALL RISE
Fall Preview Michael Yarish/CBS

Viewing the justice system through a different, hopeful lens is the MO of All Rise, CBS' new L.A.-set courtroom drama starring poised Simone Missick as newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael.

"Lola sees the person first, not the crime," executive producer Greg Spottiswood says. In the pilot, she forces a trial even though the defendant — who she believes is innocent — has accepted a plea deal.

"We're always looking for the 'Lola coaster' moment," he explains, "[when] she decides to turn left instead of right. If she inadvertently breaks something, she has to adjust because somebody's freedom is at stake."

The ensemble cast includes CSI favorite Marg Helgenberger as supervising judge Lisa Benner, a once-progressive trailblazer who initially tries to rein Lola in, and Hart of Dixie alum Wilson Bethel as prosecutor Mark Callan, Lola's equally passionate former colleague in the district attorney's office.

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While the two are at different places in their lives — Lola is married, Mark's a bit of a playboy — their bond is strong. Says Spottiswood: "They are each other's conscience."

All Rise, Series Premiere, Monday, September 23, 9/8c, CBS