NIGHT COURT: Annie O’Donnell Previews the Wheelers' Return - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

NIGHT COURT: Annie O’Donnell Previews the Wheelers’ Return

March 12, 2024 by  

Night Court Wheelers return

NIGHT COURT — “Wheelers of Fortune” Episode 211 — Pictured: (l-r) Brent Spiner as Bob Wheeler, Annie O’Donnell as June Wheeler — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

Familiar faces show up on the Tuesday, March 12 episode of NIGHT COURT: The Wheelers!

In the original series, Bob and June Wheeler (portrayed by Brent Spiner and Annie O’Donnell) were notoriously cursed. And three decades later, not much has changed.

“[The Wheelers’] luck is just as bad as ever,” NIGHT COURT executive producer Dan Rubin recently told Give Me My Remote about their reappearance in “Wheelers of Fortune.” “And Dan Fielding, of course, is going to warn Abby to stay away from, but she’s not going to be able to resist—much like Harry.”

When the Wheelers return, “they are brought in as defendants,” Rubin previewed. “And then they will have something that Abby needs. And then, of course, we’re really also extra excited that Kate Micucci, who we love and is hilarious, is going to play Carol Ann Wheeler, all grown up. Her luck is, maybe, arguably, worse than her parents.”

O’Donnell had been hearing from fans about a possible return ever since  the NBC revival of NIGHT COURT debuted in 2023.

“Things kept coming up on my Facebook about NIGHT COURT,” she tells Give Me My Remote. “And I did find blogs…with people saying, ‘Gee, I wish they would bring back the Wheelers,’ and I kept thinking, ‘Oh, well, I hope that producers are reading this!’”

The actress knew the producers had checked in about her availability in season 2, but things came together pretty quickly while she was filming a guest appearance on NOT DEAD YET. “It was pretty exciting,” she recalls.

Stepping back into the role also meant O’Donnell got to reunite with Spiner. “It was fantastic to see Brent,” she gushes. “We had not seen each other in over 30 years. But it was kinda like we had seen each other yesterday…And to see [original cast member] John [Larroquette, who plays Dan] again! He gave me a big hug and said, ‘Oh, I’m so glad you’re here.’ It was really lovely.”

O’Donnell was also delighted by the similarities between the original set and the revival’s duplication of the court.

“It looked almost identical to me—but of course I may not remember that many details from 37 years ago,” she says with a laugh. “It looked great and everyone was just so warm and welcoming to us. [New series star] Melissa [Rauch, who plays Abby] is just a beacon of light. She’s just the most darling person. And everyone just came over to us and was just so welcoming and kind. And many of them had watched all the episodes that we were so they were ready for us. It was great fun.”

Night Court Wheelers return

NIGHT COURT — “Wheelers of Fortune” Episode 211 — Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone, Kate Micucci as Carol Ann, Brent Spiner as Bob Wheeler, Annie O’Donnell as June Wheeler — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

Though it had been decades, playing June again was quasi-secondhand nature for O’Donnell. “For some reason, even though I’m from Philadelphia, June came naturally to me in the beginning; it just happened,” she recalls. “And since the new NIGHT COURT has been [on], little videos have been popping up on my Facebook of our scenes from the old one. And so I was watching them and enjoying them. Then when we actually got the call to do it, I just looked at a couple of our episodes and got a little more back into the mindset and the vocal set and the facial set of June. So it wasn’t difficult.”

“I remember when we did it the first time, the hardest thing to do was not to laugh because when John’s back was to the audience, and towards me, he would like to make faces,” she continues with a laugh. “So that was the hardest thing back in the old days—not to burst out laughing because the Wheelers were not big laughers.”

The one big wild card this go-round was the addition of the adult Carol Ann into the Wheeler mix. “Our very first episodes [in the original series], we had a small daughter, played by Keri Houlihan who then got her own series—so she didn’t come back for the other episodes that we did because she was elsewhere occupied,” O’Donnell recalls. “Now, Carol Ann is all grown up and so I had no idea who they were going to get for our daughter. But I was just thrilled when I saw that it was Kate [Micucci]. She is just fantastic, and just such a bright light and so darling and lovely and just kind. Just a wonderful person, a wonderful, wonderful actress. And it was just such a pleasure working with her and with Brent and with everybody again. It was fantastic.”

Which means if the series returns, O’Donnell is more than game to come back, too. “Oh, I hope so,” she says with a laugh. “People seem to think so. And that all depends. Everything is lined up for this season already and it will just depend on when NIGHT COURT gets picked up. And you know if Brent is available because he’s a busy guy, too. So fingers crossed. I don’t get tired of playing June Wheeler.”

NIGHT COURT, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC


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