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ABC Buys Shonda Rhimes-Exec Produced Drama 'Lawless' (Inspired By Trucker-Turned-Lawyer)

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 22, 2013 7:57 PM
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Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland production company will executive produce a new project that ABC has put into development, titled Lawless.

To be written by KJ Steinberg (Mistresses), the drama, said to be inspired by real life of trucker-turned-lawyer Wynona Ward, founder of Have Justice Will Travel, will tell the story of a lawyer who returns to her hometown to mend some fences, she left broken.

Ward's story, courtesy of Deadline:

A former victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, Ward got compelled at age 41 by the news of another child in her family getting sexually abused by relatives to go to college and law school and start a group that provides free legal representation and support services to victims of domestic violence in rural areas.

Shonda Rhimes and Steinberg previously worked together on anothe ABC project, Gilded Lilys, a period drama set in 1895, revolving around the family who owned New York’s first true luxury hotel, the staff who work there and the people who pass through.

This was in late 2011. ABC did order a pilot of Gilded Lilys, but it never went to series.

Rhimes has already launched three successful series for the network - medical dramas Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice (which ended its run last season) and legal/fixer drama Scandal.

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More: TV News, Shonda Rhimes

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  • ALM | July 23, 2013 9:05 PMReply

    And this is the issue. Based on the comments in this thread, some people expect Shonda Rhimes to be the savior of people of color in television. The issue is, in 2013 there should be 15 "Shonda Rhimes" with the same level of power in tv.

    Shonda has already done TONS of positive things for people of color in tv. Regulars to this site should be able to read between the lines and realize that ABC is only going to allow so much diversity. Every show they greenlight is not going to have a person of color as a lead.

    Major network tv has a LONG way to go to accurately reflect America's racial landscape. Shonda is doing what she can. I have seen how she has had to "play the game" even to get her other shows greenlit. If you pay attention to the plot lines, there are obvious tradeoffs built into her tv shows.

  • john | July 23, 2013 2:36 PMReply

    Did Carl take his medication this morning????

  • Erica | July 23, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    Congratulations to this woman. She is an inspiration to me and many. Shonda, if you're reading this which you're way too busy and smart to do, keep doing it, lady!!!!!! You have my support!

  • Katie | July 23, 2013 10:13 AMReply

    Another show starring white people? :/


  • Katie | July 25, 2013 8:57 AM

    Lol @Carl, you mad? And yes, I am the black quota police, now what? Exactly, nothing. FOH.

  • Carl | July 23, 2013 2:04 PM

    She's not allowed? Who the fuck are you? The black quota police? Shut tha fuck up and stop hating.

  • Sharlene | July 23, 2013 9:42 AMReply

    Why can't the celebration be about a successful woman and her development deal with a major network? Does she have to make the whole damn show Black too? When can writers be celebrated as writers instead of writers of Black shows? Or if she includes a few Black characters will the problem be how it's not 100% Black? Or how they are stereotypical and not real?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | July 23, 2013 2:49 PM


  • Well..... | July 23, 2013 2:31 AMReply

    Sorry guys, but Wynona Ward is actually a white lady(google) so I doubt they will change that to a black person since it's based off of a "real life" situation. I'm sure they'll sprinkle in some colored main characters.

  • Lea | July 23, 2013 1:16 PM

    Colored? Please go back to 1940 and stay there!

  • Kickscream | July 22, 2013 9:48 PMReply

    Well, so farthere is a blck person in a major roll on the show. Shonda Rhimes.

  • Carl | July 23, 2013 2:03 PM

    Learn to spell.

  • Beemooree | July 22, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    Lets hope they're black people in major roles on this show.

  • Carl | July 23, 2013 2:02 PM

    Lets' hope not so your ass can have a hissy fit!

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