'Judging Amy' Creators Meet With Fans

The creators of CBS'
``Judging Amy,'' the highest rated new drama of the 1999 fall season,
are grateful for their word-of-mouth success. They gave back to their
fans Saturday night at the Museum of Television and Radio's 18th
Annual William S. Paley Festival by screening the show's pilot,
followed by an hour of taking questions from the good-sized audience
in attendance.

Asked when the series, based on star Amy Brenneman's mother's
years as a judge in family court, first began being developed,
Brenneman said that executive producer ``Connie (Tavel) and I were
having dinner at Manhattan Wonton. She had just had her hair

The show was the last one ordered for pilot season and the last one
to be put on a network schedule. Even then, only a small presentation
reel was ordered, rather than a full episode.

``What it means is, `We've run out of money for pilots but we'd still
like to see something, so we'll pay for 20 minutes,''' explained
executive producer Barbara Hall.

Tavel revealed that when it came to casting ``we all wanted Tyne
(Daly) desperately.''

For her part, Daly said that she was drawn to the project for two

``We've seen a lot of cops and lawyers, but we never go in the back
rooms where these decisions are made,'' said the actress, who is also
pleased that the character of Maxine was allowed to have flaws --
like her own smoking habit.

``I wanted her to be smoking dope. I sort of offered that first so
they'd settle for cigarettes.''

Karle Warren, the youngest member of the cast, keeps the rest on
their toes. She's made a substantial amount of money instituting a
``swear jar'' at the rate of one dollar per cuss word. Daly said they
get even by giving her lots of sugar and seeing what happens.

Finally, animal lovers were pleased to hear that the family dog
Socrates (who died in an earlier episode this season) is still alive and

Brenneman has a basset hound at home and insisted that there would
be one on the show, until it proved to be untrainable and had to be
written off.