Shonda 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 …
In 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
Martin 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.
Matt 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.
EXCLUSIVE: 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.