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

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 10, 2013 6:53 PM
6 Comments
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Damon Gupton

Well, if it does happen, 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. 

The news from a Deadline exclusive:

AMC Networks‘ female-focused WEtv is looking to follow in the footsteps of siblings AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel by moving into original scripted series. I hear WE is getting help in its plans from AMC, whose untitled Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn drama project is eyed to become WE’s first scripted series. (The cable network also is exploring other scripted ideas.) I hear WE is considering a nine-episode order to the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project, originally ordered as a pilot by AMC last year [...] I hear the potential series order is contingent on finding a showrunner as David Manson, who ran the pilot at AMC, has since moved to Netflix’s House Of Cards as executive producer.

The series at the center of this story is a still untitled Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn legal thriller, starring 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.

AMC didn't pick it up to series; there was no mention of even the pilot in our last post on the project, a month ago. AMC did note that the project "will remain in consideration for a potential series pick-up in 2013.

Obviously, based on today's news, they seem to have other plans for it.

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 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 not a done deal, so let's see what develops here. Although it doesn't look like AMC wants the series in its lineup, otherwise they'd work it in, instead of trying to pass it on.

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6 Comments

  • Kelea | May 28, 2013 11:10 PMReply

    I had a feeling this was too good to be true. AMC could have brought a much wider audience to this type of show. But at least it still will be aired. Hope it all works out.

  • david | May 16, 2013 2:11 PMReply

    off topic, I remember when he was on the show with maria bello, and I always thought that dude looks and sounds like MLK JR. He should most definitely be considered.

  • Miles Ellison | May 12, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    It seems clear that AMC is going in a different direction. They've pinched pennies on The Walking Dead and fired 3 showrunners. That show is popular, but not nearly as good as it should be. They pushed Mad Men's creator to the wall, asking for more commercial spots and causing the show to go dark for a season. They're practically forcing Breaking Bad off the air. They brought back The Killing, which was originally canceled because even they thought it was bad. Meanwhile, they're heavily promoting reality shows that are either exploitative trash or not remotely interesting. Mad Men is coming to an end next season, I believe. AMC had better hope that they haven't completely alienated people who appreciate quality television. They're trying to compete with the hot garbage that's on the likes of VH-1, TLC, and Bravo instead of positioning their network as an alternative.

  • rocsteadybetty | May 12, 2013 1:14 AMReply

    Is it time for me to boycott AMC? This is bogus. I let them slide when they took away Rubicon, but this show seemed promising, and would probably give them an additional (and much needed) demographic.

    Bad move, AMC. Bad move.

  • Akimbo | May 11, 2013 1:48 AMReply

    Hmm, I wonder if a move to WeTV will force the series to tailor itself to that audience. That scares me a little, but I'll still be watching. Love Gupton.

  • Peggy | May 10, 2013 10:33 PMReply

    It's too black for AMC. This could be a good fit if intelligent people can find that channel. I blast past it on my way to Animal Planet to see their shows with all the Hillbillies.

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