‘The Walking Dead’s’ Emily Kinney Joins ABC Drama Pilot ‘Conviction’

Emily Kinney
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Update, 6:15 p.m: Manny Montana (“Graceland,” “Blackhat”) has joined the cast. He will play the role of Frankie Rios, a street-savvy, boyish former inmate who’s in charge of forensics. While in prison, he took courses and later went on to get a masters degree. Montana is repped by Innovative Artists and Trademark Talent.

Previous, 10:15 a.m: Emily Kinney has been cast in ABC’s pilot “Conviction,” Variety has learned. “The Walking Dead” alum joins Hayley Atwell and Shawn Ashmore in the drama.

“Conviction” tells the story of young attorney Carter Morrison (Attwell), the brilliant but rebel daughter of a former President, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts, work together to examine cases where there’s credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.

Kinney will play Tess Thompson, the paralegal for the Unit team who is extremely bright, but a bit naive and occasionally, an underlying dark sadness emerges. Tess used to work for the Innocence Project, but decided to work for CIU because she thinks she can make a bigger impact working more cases from inside the system. She is a true believer in the cause of wrongful convictions — for reasons that she keeps secret.

Kinney played Beth Greene on “The Walking Dead” from Season 2 and until character’s death in the fifth season. She’s also appeared in “The Knick,” “Masters of Sex” and “The Big C.”

“Conviction” was created by scribes Liz Friedman (“Jessica Jones,” “Elementary”) and Liz Friedlander (“Stalker,” “The Following”). The Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios will produce with Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Friedman and Friedlander all serving as exec producers. Friedlander will direct the pilot. Entertainment One (eOne) is handling international rights.

The Mark Gordon Co. has strong ties with ABC, as it’s behind the net’s breakout hit “Quantico” and the upcoming straight-to-series Kiefer Sutherland drama “Designated Survivor.”

Kinney is represented by Paradigm and Anonymous Content.

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