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NBC Developing Black Female Mayor Drama With ‘Orville’ Star, ‘West Wing’ Writer (EXCLUSIVE)

Penny Johnson Jerald
Abel Fermin/REX/Shutterstock

NBC is developing a drama series with Penny Johnson Jerald and Allison Abner among its executive producers, Variety has learned exclusively.

The series will be set in Baltimore and follows a newly elected African-American female mayor, her female chief of police, and district attorney as they work for the good of one of America’s most dangerous cities.

Abner and Jerald will both serve as executive producers on the project, with Abner also serving as writer. Tom Szentgyorgyi, who has written and produced for shows like “The Mentalist” and “NYPD Blue,” will also executive produce. Sheila Ducksworth and LaVern Whitt will also executive produce. Universal Television will produce.

Jerald will star in the upcoming Fox sci-fi series “The Orville” from Seth MacFarlane, set to debut in September. Her other acting credits include HBO’s Emmy-winning series “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and the ABC procedural “Castle.” She is repped by Mitchell K. Stubbs & Associates.

In addition to writing for “The West Wing,” Abner also wrote for “Without a Trace,” “NCIS,” and “Narcos.” She also worked as a co-producer and producer on “Without a Trace” and a supervising producer on “Narcos.” She is repped by WME.

This fall, NBC will debut the military drama “The Brave” starring Anne Heche and “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” from superproducer Dick Wolf. The network will also air the revival of “Will & Grace,” which will see the entire main cast of the Emmy-winning series return for a 12-episode run.