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Finally! AMC Networks' WEtv Damon Gupton/Nia Long/Marin Ireland Legal Thriller Gets A Trailer + Debut Date

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 21, 2014 6:58 PM
4 Comments
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The Divide

Finally! A trailer for WEtv’s first original scripted series The Divide - one that we've been tracking since it was first announced in 2012, which, as you might recall, was previously set to air on AMC, but got bumped to WEtv last year - both channels owned by AMC Networks.

The Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn drama, stars Damon Gupton as Adam Powell - 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 took over the role that Aunjanue Ellis was initially cast to play - the district attorney's wife, Billie Powell, who's described as a hard-charging successful partner in a private equity firm.

Also, Clarke Peters (also of The WireTreme, 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.

The project has always read like a stellar drama to me, on paper, given those involved, the premise, and the fact that it was initially set to run on AMC (known for its strong, award-winning dramatic programming slate). When I learned that it would instead air on WEtv, as I noted in a previous post, I wondered whether the series would be the right fit for WEtv, and if it is, what that tell us about it, given WEtv's past and current lineup of shows, which includes a reality TV-heavy slate like Braxton Family ValuesBridezillas, and its spin-off called Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas.

Not exactly weighty, dramatic, suspenseful, dark scripted material. So I wondered if this move would actually hurt the show. Although I haven't seen any of it (except for the below trailer), 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.

It could also be that AMC Networks (the parent company) wants to rebrand WEtv, moving away from cheap reality TV to scripted programming.

By the way, speaking of Scandal, Tony Goldwyn, one of the creators of the series, 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 (8 episodes) in July.

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 RhimesScandal), who also directed.

Watch the first trailer below:

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4 Comments

  • Akimbo | April 27, 2014 11:20 AMReply

    I definitely think the move will hurt the show as the writing will cater to the target audience. I'm also stunned to see Marin Ireland standing at the front of the cast like that. This whole time I thought this was Gupton's vehicle. I will still watch, but am lowering my expectations.

  • Jug | April 22, 2014 8:23 PMReply

    The only thing more distressing about the severe lateness of the shows arrival, is this one sheet which makes the show seem like its about Marin Ireland when in fact it is about Damon Gupton and Marin Ireland equally, maybe a bit more about Damon. But let that one sheet tell it, he's gonna get her coffee LOL

    Hollywood is a trip sometimes...

  • D.C. Kirkwood | April 22, 2014 1:25 PMReply

    Marin Ireland is a strong actress. She will definitely hold her own. The rest of the cast I don't know. Hopefully this will develop into a strong series. Fingers crossed. I just wish it would have stayed on AMC.

  • S.Webb | April 21, 2014 11:52 PMReply

    It's about time.

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