The series was originally reported as being in development at Onyx Collective back in July after having previously been in the works at ABC.
“Reasonable Doubt” will be executive produced by Kerry Washington and Pilar Savone for Simpson Street and Larry Wilmore via Wilmore Films. Raamla Mohamed is writing and executive producing the series, which features an all-Black writing staff. Attorney Shawn Holley is a co-executive producer as is Jon Leshay. ABC Signature will produce. Simpson Street and Mohamed are currently under overall deals with the studio. Washington will also direct the first episode after previously directing episodes of “Scandal,” “SMILF,” and “Insecure.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more ideal creative partnership for our first Onyx Collective scripted series,” said Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective. “Raamla and Kerry came to us with their passion project and a strong vision for a dynamic series that will surely get an audience talking. And to cast Emayatzy, who embodies the complexities of the lead character beautifully, was a huge get. We’re excited to bring this series to life.”
In the series, viewers will judge Jax Stewart (Corinealdi) for her questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law until they’re the one in trouble. Then they’ll see her for what she is: the most brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles who bucks the justice system at every chance she gets.
“Simpson Street was founded with the belief that we are each the lead character in the story of our lives regardless of who we are, where we are born, what we believe or who we love,” Washington said. “Each of us deserves to be and to see ourselves at the center of the narrative. It’s a privilege to partner with Onyx, a brand dedicated to centering creators of color and underrepresented voices, on their first scripted drama series. I am excited to be working with the great Larry Wilmore and to be once again collaborating with the brilliant Raamla Mohamed, who will lead an all-Black writers room on a series led by the phenomenal Emayatzy Corinealdi. This is a proud moment for all of us at Simpson Street and we could not ask for better partners all around.”
Corinealdi broke out with her role in the Ava DuVernay feature “Middle of Nowhere.” She has since starred in features such as “Miles Ahead” with Don Cheadle and in Karyn Kusama’s “The Invitation.” Her TV credits include “The Red Line,” “Ballers,” “Roots,” and “Hand of God.”
She is repped by UTA, Atlas Artists, Viewpoint and Del Shaw Moonves.
“I am beyond thrilled that my first television show will be part of the Onyx Collective,” Mohamed said. “As a 2012 alum of the ABC/Disney Writer’s Program, I’ve been in the Disney family for a minute now and it has always been my dream to be able to create the kind of series based on people that look like me and made by people who look like me. I am grateful to Tara Duncan, Shawn Holley, Simpson Street, Wilmore Films and ABC Signature for believing in this project from the beginning and trusting it in my hands. And I’m especially excited to be working with Kerry as a director on what is our third project together. As the kids say, I love this for us.”
Onyx Collective was officially announced back in May. It is described as a curated collection of projects from creators of color and underrepresented voices that will be presented as a content brand on Hulu.
(Pictured: Emayatzy Corinealdi)