By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 17, 2014 at 10:33AM
In case you haven't heard, WE tv is officially being rebranded by its parent company AMC, shifting away from the trashy reality TV shows that have long been its money-center, to more original scripted adult dramas, targeted at a primarily female audience.
One of the network's early attempts at this *upgrade* - also its first original scripted drama - "The Divide," will launch with a special two-hour premiere on Wednesday, July 16th, at 9pm ET/PT before moving to its regular 10pm ET/PT time-slot beginning on Wednesday, July 23rd.
The Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn drama, which was originally planned for an AMC channel time slot (suggesting how strong the series might be, given AMC's history of original hit dramas), stars Damon Gupton as Adam Page - a district attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the re-investigation of a sensational racially-motivated murder case.
Marin Ireland ("Homeland," "Mildred Pierce") stars opposite Gupton as a caseworker who challenges Powell's convictions.
Nia Long plays the district attorney's wife, Billie Page, who's described as a hard-charging successful partner in a private equity firm.
Also, Clarke Peters (also of "The Wire," "Treme," and more) playing Adam's (Damon's) father, Isaiah Page, a retired cop and the former Philadelphia police commissioner.
Here's an official synopsis:
"The Divide" is a thought-provoking and suspenseful drama that explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics, and race in today's justice system through the eyes of Christine Rosa played by Marin Ireland, an impassioned caseworker with The Innocence Initiative, and Adam Page played by Damon Gupton, an equally passionate district attorney and political rising star. Eleven years ago, the Butler family was attacked in their Philadelphia home and all but the youngest daughter were brutally murdered. The senseless deaths of this affluent African American family, seemingly at the hands of two white construction workers, Terry Kucik (Joe Anderson) and Jared Bankowski (Chris Bauer), threatened to ignite a racial firestorm in the City of Brotherly Love. Adam Page (Gupton), himself an affluent black man and the city's District Attorney as well as a political rising star, made a name for himself by securing convictions for both men, leading to the death penalty ruling for Bankowski. Now, Christine Rosa (Ireland), a caseworker with the Innocence Initiative, believes Bankowski was wrongly convicted of the heinous murders and struggles to stop his impending execution, while tirelessly working to exonerate Kucik.In her search for the truth, Christine uncovers evidence that puts her at odds with Adam who will do everything in his power to uphold the verdict and keep his reputation intact. His actions put a strain on his marriage to Billie, played by Nia Long, a powerhouse corporate attorney at a crossroads in her personal and professional life. Throughout the journey, all three of their pasts resurface as they are faced with the question of one man's guilt or innocence intertwined with their own personal histories.
"The Divide" also stars Paul Schneider as Clarke Rylance, an old law school buddy of Adam and Billie's who chooses a different path when he signs on with The Innocence Initiative.
LaGravenese writes and executive produces alongside Tony Goldwyn (President Fitzgerald Grant on Shonda Rhimes' Scandal), who also directed.
Ahead of the series' debut a month from now, WEtv has ramped up its marketing efforts, releasing poster art, video character profiles, and, today, behind-the-scenes looks at the series.
Below, in the first video, the cast and crew breakdown the case that is at the heart of the story; and, in the second clip, the audience is given a look at the Innocence Project, which is the real life inspiration behind the Innocence Initiative at the center of "The Divide." And if you missed them, watch all 4 of key character profile videos underneath.