All Rise is a new courthouse drama that premieres Sept. 23 on CBS. The series follows the lives of judges, prosecutors, and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks, and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles. Marg Helgenberger, 60, stars as Lisa Benner, who is a mentor to the newly-appointed Judge Lola Carmichael, played by Simone Missick. HollywoodLife sat down EXCLUSIVELY with Marg at the Television Critics Association summer press tour about how All Rise brought her back to CBS.
“During pilot season there were actually quite a few pilots that I actually read in which there were characters that I was right for,” Marg told HollyoodLife. “Sometimes it’s not the case. They don’t have that many roles women over the age of 45. I had already read a few pilots but this one engaged me immediately. I just thought the writing was so good, the dialogue was great, the characters were interesting, and it took me by surprise actually.”
Marg, best known for her role as Catherine Willows on CSI, also teased what we can expect from Lisa and her dynamic with Lola. “She has political ambitions. I think she also has natural leadership abilities and likes being in charge of a lot of judges, most of which are white men,” Marg continued. “And that’s why I was also such a big champion for Lola, a woman of color. I think that Lisa, my character, sees a lot of her younger self in Lola and that Lola’s got this drive and this passion and she doesn’t want somebody to have to take a plea deal just because it’s the expedient way of doing things. So she might go to trial and I have to kind of step in and say, we just don’t have the resources for that, we just got to keep things moving.”
As Lisa continues to mentor Lola, Marg added that Lisa will find herself seeing how she’s “compromised her original reasons for wanting to go into law. I think it’s going to be like a nice simpatico relationship in that Lisa is going to learn from her and reinvigorated with what she originally wanted to do with her law career.”
All Rise also stars Wilson Bethel, Jessica Camacho, J. Alex Brinson, Lindsay Mendez, and Ruthie Ann Miles. The show will air Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS.