AMC's Damon Gupton/Aunjanue Ellis/Clarke Peters Legal Thriller Officially Heading To WEtv

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
July 23, 2013 3:45 PM
3 Comments
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Damon Gupton

In May, we reported that the then untitled Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn original scripted drama, starring Damon Gupton, might end up on AMC Networks‘ female-focused WEtv channel instead of AMC, as was originally planned.

The network officially announced today that the series will indeed become a WEtv show, and a 10-episode order has been made for what has now been titled The Divide, with a 2014 debut scheduled.

The legal thriller stars Damon Gupton stars as Adam Powell - a district attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the re-investigation of a sensational murder case.

Aunjanue Ellis co-stars alongside Gupton, playing his wife, Billie Powell, a successful partner in a private equity firm.

Also, Seth Gilliam (The Wire), as well as Clarke Peters (also of The Wire, Treme, and more) play supporting roles as Adam’s younger brother, a novice, naive cop, and Adam's (Damon's) father, Isaiah Page, a retired cop and the former Philadelphia police commissioner.

Marin Ireland (Homeland, Mildred Pierce) rounds out the cast of what has always read like a stellar project to me, based on what we know of it thus far.

LaGravenese writes and executive produces alongside Tony Goldwyn, who directs.

As I noted in my last post on this, even though I wondered whether the series would be a fit for WEtv, the good thing is that we'll get to see the series somewhere, even if it's on a network that I don't watch. But I suppose maybe that's the point - to draw audiences to a network that could use a lift. Although it could also be detrimental to the series because it's not a network that the target audience for the series watches. At least I don't think so, based on what we know of the project thus far.

Granted AMC and WEtv both are owned by AMC Networks, so it's all in the family. However, as I noted earlier, WEtv just doesn't seem like a proper fit for the series. This is a channel with a slate that's heavy on reality TV series, and one of its most popular shows is Braxton Family Values. It's also home to Bridezillas, and an upcoming spin-off called Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas.

Not exactly weighty, dramatic, suspenseful, dark scripted material. So I don't get it, and it could actually hurt the show. Although I haven't seen any of it, so I could be in for a surprise, if we discover that it's actually closer in style to a series like Scandal, than it is to Homeland, or Breaking Bad, for example; and would fit very well into WEtv's programming lineup, given the channel's demographic.

By the way, speaking of Scandal, Tony Goldwyn plays President Fitzgerald Grant on Shonda RhimesScandal; he's a director in his own right, helming episodes of Grey's AnatomyDamagesPrivate PracticeDexterJustified, and others.

But it's a done deal, and it's coming to WEtv in 2014, so let's see what develops here.

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3 Comments

  • gwhiz | July 24, 2013 8:21 PMReply

    It's possible that if the show draws enough viewers they would move it over to AMC - other networks have done that in the past.

  • Miles Ellison | July 23, 2013 10:13 PMReply

    If this show is like Scandal, this is understandable. If it's not, this smacks of a deliberate attempt to bury it. I find it hard to believe that AMC, who practically stated that they originally cancelled The Killing because it was garbage (then brought it back), has no room for this show. Mad Men's last season is coming up. Breaking Bad starts its last season next month. Between the Walking Dead and Low Winter Sun, maybe they think that's too many black people involved in entertainment that isn't reality TV.

  • ALM | July 23, 2013 9:22 PMReply

    I'm glad it's coming to tv, although I also question WETv as a home. Hopefully they will bookend the new episodes with reruns of something that is similar in content, i.e. "Law in Order" reruns. I hope they don't bookend it with an African American reality show just because the main characters on "The Divide" are African American.

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