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ABC Seeks Breakout U.K. Acting Talent

ABC is seeking out U.K. actors it can take to the U.S. with a new trans-Atlantic talent search.

ABC Discovers: Digital Talent Competition is already up and running in the U.S. and the broadcaster has now extended it to the U.K. for the first time. The networks head of casting, Ayo Davis, and “Grey’s Anatomy” casting director, Linda Lowy, are involved, and will offer the breakthrough talent advice on getting into TV.

British actors in recent ABC shows include Hayley Atwell in “Agent Carter” and “Conviction” and Minnie Driver in “Speechless,” and, further back, Nicollette Sheridan in “Desperate Housewives,” but the new initiative is about finding a new generation of stars.

“This competition is about access and opportunity for up and coming actors,” Davis said. “We are incredibly proud of the U.S. talent that has surfaced in the first few years of the competition and by expanding to the U.K., we are looking to further deepen our relationship with its hugely talented acting community.”

Would be ABC stars apply through the ABCDiscoversUK website, performing one of the comedy or drama scenes on the site, and a winner will be announced in August. The site also has Lowy interviewing “Grey’s Anatomy” talent including Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Jessica Capshaw, and Kelly McCreary. The winner of last year’s contest in the U.S., Beth Triffon, also talks about her experience.

Previous winners have gone on the become U.S. TV regulars: 2014 victor, Cornelius Smith, Jr., stars in ABC’s “Scandal”, and 2015 winner, Sam Adegoke, has gone on to appear in “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Switched at Birth,” and is currently in the CW’s “Dynasty” reboot.

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