John Larroquette Explains ‘Night Court’ Revival Change To His Character


All rise, for court is back in session. NBC‘s sitcom Night Court is back after ending back in 1992. It features returning star John Larroquette reviving his role of prosecutor Dan Fielding but fans of the original series will notice a few big changes to Fielding.

Most ostensibly, Fielding goes from prosecutor to public defender, but there are also subtler differences pertaining strictly to his character. For example, Fielding is less of a flirt in the revival, which premiered on NBC on January 17, 2023. In light of these changes and more, Larroquette has discussed his character and the reasons for the changes seen.


John Larroquette explores the changes to Dan Fielding in the ‘Night Court’ revival

NIGHT COURT, John Larroquette, 1984-92, (c)Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

The original Night Court ran from ’84 to ’92, featured an ensemble cast led by Harry Anderson as Judge Harry T. Stone. The original public defender lineup featured Gail Strickland, Paula Kelly, Ellen Foley, and the late NBC regular Markie Post. Now, Larroquette is in that group and Abby Stone, played by Melissa Rauch, has taken over for her father as a judge.


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The lens’s focus is now on the younger characters and their lives while Fielding’s has calmed down considerably. When asked Larroquette feels this makes perfect sense. “The man is 75 years old,” he has reasoned, “nobody wants to see that and I certainly don’t want to play that.”

What to expect from the new ‘Night Court’ instead

John Larroquette returns as a slightly different Dan Fielding / YouTube screenshot

The synopsis for the Night Court revival says, “Judge Abby Stone, the daughter of the late Harry Stone, follows in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics.” The original series was famous for its readiness to embrace the absurd – and the indelicate. So, it sounds like more of that can be expected, with a few twists.

Dan Fielding, older, and in a new position / YouTube screenshot

Larroquette says the revival will provide “glancing blows to that sort of homage” to Fielding and his previous ways. Meanwhile, “We’ve got some young people in this cast who all the stories about the amorous nature of being young and falling in love and having relationships that work and don’t work should be left to the young people, not to the old guy.”

As of February, the latest Night Court revival has been renewed for a second season and the first few episodes drew in the highest rating of an NBC comedy in four years. Have you or will you watch it? Revisit the original with the deep dive video below.

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