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TCA: Shonda Rhimes Resists Larger Role For ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

TCA: Shonda Rhimes Resists Larger Role For ‘How To Get Away With Murder’TV critics want to heap a lot of responsibility on Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes already has her fill, thank you very much, what with overseeing ABC’s entire Thursday lineup in the fall, including Grey’s Anatomy at 8 PM, followed by Scandal at 9 PM,  and new How To Get Away With Murder at 10 PM. At TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 this morning, she resisted their efforts to get Money Quotes for their TV Diversity Navel-Lint Gazing pieces.

Scandal’s debut in the spring of 2012 marked the first time in 30 years American TV featured a primetime series with a black female star. Now, just three years later “We have two shows,” marveled one TV critic, who asked Rhimes to speak to the “lesson” to TV in this, also asking for her thoughts on “the impact of having two shows on network TV that star black women.”
“Do I think there are any lessons? No, I don’t. The shows speak for themselves,” Shonda responded curtly.

In re the impact of having two shows starring black women on American primetime TV, Rhimes brushed it off with, “It remains to be seen. It hasn’t happened yet.” Read More »

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ABC’s New Series Trailers: ‘American Crime’, ‘Selfie’, ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, ‘Black-Ish’, More

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 2:20pm PDT

ABC Upfronts 2014UPDATED WITH FULL TRAILERS: Check out the first look at ABC‘s new comedies and dramas as part of the 2014-2015 series orders. The network has made full trailers of everything available now that its upfront presentation is underway. The sole holdout: Midseason drama Marvel’s Agent Carter. Stay tuned for that one. Here’s the rest:

American Crime – Drama
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/director/executive producer John Ridley and executive producer Michael J McDonald.

Forever – Drama
Produced by Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producer Matt Miller, executive producers Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz, and director Brad Anderson.

How To Get Away With Murder – Drama
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Peter Nowalk, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, and director Michael Offer.

Secrets And Lies – Drama
Produced by ABC Studios and executive producers Kapital Entertainment with Hoodlum Entertainment. From writer/executive producer Barbie Kligman, director Charles McDougall and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield.

The Whispers – Drama
Produced by ABC Studios with Amblin TV co-producing. From writer/co-executive producer Soo Hugh, director Mark Romanek and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Dawn Olmstead.

Black-ish – Comedy
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Kenya Barris, director/executive producer James Griffiths and executive producers Larry Wilmore, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Tom Russo, Brian Dobbins, Peter Principato and Paul Young.

Cristela – Comedy
Produced by 20th Century Fox TV. From writer Cristela Alonzo, writer/executive producer Kevin Hench and executive producers Marty Adelstein, … Read More »

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ABC Picks Up ‘Selfie’, ‘Forever’, Jeff Lowell Comedy, ‘Galavant’, ‘The Whispers’, ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, ‘American Crime’, ‘Black-ish’ To Series

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 7:40pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPABC logo 2014DATE: Descriptions and credits for each newly picked up series at the bottom of the post.

Related: ABC PILOTS: What Is Still Alive?

WRITETHRU:: ABC has kicked off its new series pickups with a nod to its hottest pilot, legal thriller How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. Also picked up today are two other pilots from ABC Studios, John Ridley’s dark, racially charged drama American Crime starring Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman, and comedy Black-ish, starring Anthony Anderson, with Laurence Fishburne executive producing and set to recur as Anderson’s dad. I hear Richard LaGravenese’s Dangerous Liaisons is not going forward.

Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

ABC is continuigalavantng with its orders from ABC Studios. Next off are fairytale musical comedy Galavant from Dan Fogelman (His sophomore ABC comedy The Neighbors is dead), the alien drama The Whispers (formerly The Visitors) and the under-the-radar Jeff Lowell romantic comedy, now titled Manhattan Love Story. The Whispers marks the seventh series for Amblin TV and third for Dawn Olmstead who left the producing ranks to head development for Universal Cable Prods.

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ABC Pilots ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ & ‘Black-ish’ Start Making Writer Deals

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 5:48pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC logo 2014A promising sign for two ABC pilots, drama How To Get Away With Murder and comedy Black-ish (aka untitled Anthony Anderson). I’ve learned that both have started making deals with writers. The deals are “if come,” contingent on a pickup by the network, but that still is a good indication that the network intends to pick them up, especially both being from sibling ABC Studios. Starting staff writer hires early gives projects a leg up to lock in sought after scribes. The move on both pilots is not surprising. Legal thriller How To Get Away with Murder, written by Peter Nowalk, produced by Shonda Rhimes and starring Viola Davis, has been a clear frontrunner on the drama side from the start. Black-ish, which counts Laurence Fishburne as executive producer and recurring guest star, is one of two Black family comedy pilots ordered by ABC this season, along with Kevin Hart’s Keep It Together from 20th TV (the first is single-camera, the second multi-camera). After a fast start for Keep It Together, the two pilots had been running neck-and-neck, with Keep It Together starting to lose steam in the past week, partly due to the rise of another ABC multi-camera family comedy project from 20th TV, Cristela. As usual, ABC is late to the pickup party but we could get some action tonight.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots

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Tom Verica Cast In ABC Pilot ‘How To Get Away’; Morgan Spector In NBC’s ‘Coercion’

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 2:15pm PDT

tomvericaTom Verica (American Dreams) has joined the cast of ABC drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor, Annalise Dewitt (Davis), who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives. Paradigm-repped Verica will play Annalise’s husband Tom, a psychology professor who comes from a long line of academic royalty.
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Liza Weil Cast In ABC Pilot ‘How To Get Away’, Stephen Hagan In CW’s ‘Identity’

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 12:33pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

weilShonda Rhimes has drafted Liza Weil, who recurred on her hot ABC drama Scandal, for the ABC drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, which Rhimes exec produces. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller 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.Weil will play one of the professor’s two associates.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots

haganIrish actor Stephen Hagan has been cast in CW pilot Identity, exec produced by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. It centers on Mia (Ahna O’Reilly), a young New Yorker who learns she needs an organ transplant to survive and her only living relative is a newfound half-brother, Davis (Matt Barr), the charming, privileged only son of a wealthy and powerful Charleston family. She connects with them only to find they’re the target of a CIA investigation for involvement in domestic terrorism, and the agency wants her as their newest informant. Hagan, repped by APA, NB Management and UK’s Artists Partnership, will play Jasper, Davis’ handsome, mysterious, and magnetic best friend who has chemistry with Mia from the moment the meet. He recently co-starred in BBC series Injustice.

Related: 2014 The CW Pilots

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Viola Davis To Topline ABC Drama Pilot ‘How To Get Away’ Produced By Shonda Rhimes

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 3:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

davisIn one of the highest-profile pilot castings this season, Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt) is set as the lead of ABC‘s drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder, from ABC Studios and Shondaland. This marks the first series regular role in a decade for the two-time Oscar-nominated actress. In making her foray into pilot season, Davis joins her Help co-star Octavia Spencer, who recently signed on to star in Fox drama pilot The Red Band Society. Written by Peter Nowalk, How To Get Away 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.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
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Charlie Weber Cast In ‘How To Get Away’; ‘The Flash’ Gets Mother

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 8:51pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

weberCharlie Weber (90210) has been cast in ABC/ABC Studios’ drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot. Weber, repped by Resolution, Vanguard Management and Gregory Slewet, plays an associate of the professor.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots

harrisonMichelle Harrison (the CW’s Emily Owens, MD) has been added to the cast the CW/WBTV/DC pilot The Flash, about scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who becomes the Fastest Man Alive. She will play the guest starring/recurring role of Barry’s mother, Nora Allen. Repped by Russ Mortensen at Pacific Artists Management.

Related: 2014 The CW Pilots

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ABC Drama Pilots ‘Warriors’ & ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Find Directors

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

campbellMartin Campbell (Casino Royale) is set to direct ABC‘s drama pilot Warriors, from Chris Keyser, Mandeville and ABC Studios. It follows the best and brightest of active duty military doctors and nurses as they practice trailblazing medicine on critically wounded warriors returning home from Afghanistan, on military families and veterans, as well as administering to Washington’s government elite. This is the third consecutive year on ABC drama pilot duty for Campbell who helmed the pilot for the Sony-produced series Last Resort in 2012 and the ABC Studio pilot Reckless last year. Read More »

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Matt McGorry Cast In ABC ‘Murder’ Pilot, Mike Colter In TNT’s ‘Agent X’

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 7:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

mcgorryMatt McGorry (Orange Is The New Black) has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder, written by Peter Nowalk and produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot. McGorry, repped by Gersh and Authentic Telent, will play one of the students, Asher aka Doucheface. Read More »

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‘Sea Of Fire’ & Shondaland’s ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Get ABC Pilot Orders

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 12:58pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

vuurzeeEXCLUSIVE: ABC has given early pilot orders to two dramas: Sea Of Fire, based on a Dutch format, and How To Get Away With Murder, from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland. Both projects are in the serialized thriller/mystery genre and come from writers groomed by Rhimes who work on her hot ABC drama Scandal – executive producer Jenna Bans and co-executive producer Peter Nowalk.

Sea Of Fire, from Sony Pictures TV, Scripted World and Mandeville, was written by Bans. When three teenage girls star in a pornographic film, it tears their families apart and leads to a disappearance, a murder and host of other secrets boiling under the surface in a small town. The original series, Vuurzee, which drew comparisons to Twin Peaks, was produced by and aired on pubcaster VARA and ran for two seasons that aired four years apart, in 2005 and in 2009. Sea Of Fire is executive produced by Bans; Scripted World’s Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya; Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks; as well as VARA’s Robert Kievit and Frank Ketelaar. This was ABC’s second stab at adapting the format. Last year the project, written by another writer, didn’t go beyond the script stage. Sea Of Fire marks the third consecutive ABC pilot for Scripted World based on a Dutch format. The first two, Red Widow and Betrayal both went to series. Read More »

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