Feb. 15, 2001 -- Folks at the Fox show Ally McBeal apparently aren't the least bit worried that actor Robert Downey Jr. may be back in jail soon — they've signed him for the remainder of the season.
There's no plea bargain agreement in place, Downey's lawyer, Robert Waters, told Reuters, which means that the producers are basically crossing their fingers that their leading man will be available in the coming weeks.
The 35-year-old actor is due back in court for a hearing next week in his latest drug possession case and could return to state prison for more than four years if convicted on charges stemming from his Nov. 25 arrest.
In a Fox network statement announcing his return, Downey said, "Working on Ally McBeal has been such a satisfying process that I'm grateful to have been asked to continue on for the remainder of the season."
The Ally gig has been good for Downey, earning him a Golden Globe award, and for the show, which has seen higher ratings during his 10-episode stint. On the wacky dramedy, Downey plays the love interest of star Calista Flockhart. The two have appeared to be close off-screen as well, sparking rumors that they are romantically involved in real life.
Downey's last Ally episode, in which his character, Larry Paul, moved to Detroit to be with his son, aired Feb. 5. The actor and his character will return to television Feb. 26, a spokeswoman for David E. Kelley Productions told Reuters.
Reuters contributed to this story.