By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 16, 2014 at 2:46PM
WE tv's first original scripted drama, “The Divide,” makes its premiere tonight, July 16, in a special 2-hour premiere that starts at 9 pm, airing with limited commercial interruptions.
The Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn drama, which was originally planned for an AMC channel time slot, 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.
The debut of “The Divide” will be accompanied by a variety of exclusive material available at www.WEtv.com. Each episode will be complemented by an "Inside-The-Episode" featurette with the cast and crew that breaks down the story and scenes in further detail. Fans can also learn more about the Innocence Project organization, the inspiration behind The Innocence Initiative.
I watched the first hour of tonight's premiere (that's all that was available via the network's sneak preview last week) and I was engaged for the most part. Granted it was only an hour of the 2-hour premiere, but there was enough there to keep me interested, and wanting to watch more of the new series. It had my attention for the most part, especially in key areas - acting, writing, directing, pace, etc. I could always nitpick, but it's too early for that. I need to see a lot more, and, what's most important is that there was enough there to make me want to see more.
And it's so rare to see black characters in the positions, and with the storylines that the key figures in this dramatic TV series have.
Below you'll find 3 clips that give audiences an inside look at the new program: