Veteran actor – and Tufts graduate – Oliver Platt stars as a judge in the new CBS show “Queens Supreme.” Medford/Somerville, Mass.
Medford/Somerville, Mass. [01.10.03] Oliver Platt made his professional acting debut between his freshman and sophomore years at Tufts, when he earned $100 for portraying Big Daddy in a Tufts Arena Theatre production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." In the 20 years since that debut performance, the veteran actor has come a long way -- appearing in over three dozen films and TV shows. In his latest project -- "Queens Supreme", which premiers tonight - Platt stars in a new CBS drama as a tough but quirky judge.
"'Queens Supreme' will focus on four judges in a fictional version of the court," reported the New York Times. "The main character, Jack Moran, is played by Oliver Platt, whose credits include a guest-starring role as the president's lawyer on ‘The West Wing.'"
This is the second lead role in a TV drama for Platt - who has also appeared in films including "Bulworth", "Dr. Doolittle", "Three Musketeers" and "A Time To Kill". During the 2000 season, he played a reporter on NBC's "Deadline".
The Tufts grad will have his work cut out for him in his new role as a judge in the New York City borough of Queens.
"Justice Moran is a brilliant, cynical judge whose integrity and wisdom are often overshadowed by his non-conformist and occasionally bizarre courtroom behavior," reported the Times.
Described as courthouse ‘dramedy' by the show's producers, "Queens Supreme" takes an alternate path from existing courtroom shows. While other law dramas focus on attorneys, this one will take a new point of view.
"It's all done from the judges' perspective," creator and executive producer Kevin Fox told USA Today. "It's not like 'The Practice' where you're rooting for the defense attorneys, and it's not like 'Law & Order', where you're rooting for the prosecutors. Our main character is not someone with a vested interest in the outcome of cases, which gives us a chance to be impartial."
The Emmy-nominated Tufts graduate will star alongside a team of veteran actors including Vincent Patore ("The Sopranos"), Robert Loggia, Anabella Sciorra, and Kyra Sedgwick. "Queens Supreme" is produced by Julia Robert's production company Shoelace, in cooperation with Spelling Television and CBS Productions.
Platt - who graduated from Tufts with a degree in drama in 1983 - was a classmate of another successful actor, Hank Azaria.
The pilot episode episode - which will premiere tonight on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT - was directed by Tim Robbins, and will to showcase Platt as tough and cynical judge.
"The judges will spend a lot of time doling out justice to New Yorkers locked in the conflicts of daily life," reported the Times. "After a plaintiff complains that a neighbor is making noise and parking illegally in his driveway, Justice Moran [Platt] will shrug and say ‘It sounds like you live in Queens.'"
Platt -- who told the Boston Globe that he is not nearly as "aggressively, suicidally liberal" as his on-screen character - said that this courtroom drama will stand out from the rest.
"It is unique because it aims to capture the mundanity and the absurdity of the mundanity of a real courthouse," he told the Globe.