'Harry's Law' star Kathy Bates: Harry was written for a male actor

harrys-law.jpgOscar-winner Kathy Bates is launching a new series on NBC called "Harry's Law," where she plays a no-nonsense criminal defense attorney named Harry Korn. Bates tells "Today" why she finally decided to play a lead role on TV.

"I had to wait for the right part," says Bates. "When I first read the script, she just jumped off the page and I realized this was it."

Ann Curry points out that Bates said "she," when in fact the part was written for a male actor.

"When I first read the script, they still had the script they'd been sending around to the male actors and then when I got the second draft, it had 'Harriet' and I said, 'No, no, no, it's gotta be 'Harry,' that's who I fell in love with," Bates laughs.

She also relishes Harry's curmudgeonly ways. "Which one of us doesn't want to be able to just say exactly what's on our mind and still be loved anyway?" she asks.

"Harry's Law" premieres Monday night (Jan. 17) at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, but it certainly won't be the only show we'll see Bates on this spring. She has said she's also coming back to "The Office." 
Photo/Video credit: NBC