In 2014, via their JuVee Productions, Viola Davis and producing partner (and hubby) Julius Tennon announced that they have teamed up with producer Debra Martin Chase (via her Martin Chase Prods.), to bring a new courtroom drama to ABC, which was to center on a powerful female attorney; although this one wasn’t to star Davis. She would just producing.
The legal drama is inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the current prosecutor of Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan, who happens to be only the second African American to serve in that position. Worthy’s notoriety grew when she filed charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2008, although that’s just one of many cases her office has been involved in. Throughout her 20 year career, she’s tried over 800 cases, with a reported conviction rate of over 90%.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is said to be, by far, the busiest in the state of Michigan, with Worthy’s office handling 52% of all felony cases in Michigan and 64% of all serious felony cases that go to jury trial.
She’s come to be known as the "toughest woman in Detroit."
Skip ahead to today, to news via Deadline that the project is now set up at TNT, and will be titled "Conviction."
The ABC project was to be scripted by Jason Wilborn ("Damages") with Jeff Melvoin acting as showrunner.
Now that it’s set up at TNT, "Empire" co-executive producer Ayanna Floyd is writing the script, and will also executive produce.
Viola Davis is still not planning to star in the series; she will only exec/produce along with Tennon and Chase.
So, the obvious question here is, if Viola isn’t going to star in the potential series, who will? This could be a rather plump role for whomever that actress is. Maybe even career-making, especially if it’s a relative unknown.
Place your bets…
Assuming the pilot goes to series, I’d look for this during the 2016/2017 TV season, or later.