According to Deadline.com, Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt) has been cast as the lead of ABC‘s drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder, from ABC Studios and Shonda Rhimes‘ (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) Shondaland. This marks the first series regular role in over a decade for the Oscar-nominated actress (her last was on CBS’ Century City). In making her foray into television pilot season, Davis joins The Help co-star Octavia Spencer, who recently signed to star in the Fox drama pilot The Red Band Society.
Written by Peter Nowalk, How To Get Away With Murder is described as a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives. Nowalk is executive producing alongside Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
This is the second consecutive drama pilot in which Rhimes has booked an A-list black actress for the lead, following Scandal and Kerry Washington. Though primarily a feature film actress now, in the past few years, Davis had recurring roles on Law & Order and The United States Of Tara. She recently wrapped production on the independent film Lila & Eve opposite Jennifer Lopez, which was produced by Davis’ JuVee Prods. company.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson; story contributed by Becky Schonbrun
Shonda Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers, have teamed up with David DiGilo for a sci-fi drama/thriller at ABC titled Mila 2.0, an adaptation of a yet-to-be-released novel by Debra Driza of the same name. Mila 2.0 is the first book in a what will be a series of novels about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
It’s being described as a Bourne Identity–style trilogy with action, with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. DiGilio will pen the script and executive produce alongside Rhimes and Beers.
Rhimes also has I Hate L.A. Dudes, with Issa Rae, and The Mix with writer John Hoffman – both currently set up at ABC; and the FBI drama Under the Gun, with writer Peter Nowalk for NBC. All in addition to Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice, all on ABC already, although Private is in its final season.
article by Courtney via blogs.indiewire.com
Deadline.com reported today that “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes is expanding the reach of her Shondaland banner into half-hour comedy and hour-long dramedy at ABC. Rhimes and her producing partner, Betsy Beers, have set up “I Hate L.A. Dudes,” written by “The Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl” creator and star Issa Rae and “The Mix,” by John Hoffman (“Igor”). For more details, click here: Shonda Rhimes’ Sells Talk Show Dramedy & Comedy Project To ABC.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
The prolific series creator/writer/showrunner Shonda Rhimes, in a pairing with Grey’s Anatomy writer Peter Nowalk, has sold an FBI drama titled Under The Gun, to NBC.
What’s it about?
Under the Gun revolves around Erin Kain, a woman who goes to work for the FBI as she struggles to make sense of a terrible event in her past that ruined her life and tore her family apart. While her young and fragile appearance doesn’t typically suggest that she’s best suited to work as a field agent, her dark past helps her get inside the head of criminals who were normal one day and cracked the next.
Nowalk will write the script and executive produce along with Rhimes and her Shondaland producing partner Betsy Beers.
As THR notes, this new sale marks the first one of the 2012/2013 season for Rhimes who sold four new dramas – three to ABC and one to Fox – last season. One of them, the period drama Gilded Lilys, was ordered to pilot, but didn’t get picked up as a series.
Her last season freshman hit series Scandal (one of the 4) will make its season 2 debut in less than 3 weeks.
BY TAMBAY A. OBENSON via blogs.indiewire.com