Onyx Collective has greenlit its first scripted series, Reasonable Doubt. Middle of Nowhere‘s Emayatzy Corinealdi will star, and Kerry Washington will serve as executive producer via her company Simpson Street. She will also direct the first episode.
The series comes writer/executive producer Raamla Mohamed and Washington and will include an all-black writing staff headed by Mohamed. The series will be produced by ABC Signature and will be streamed on Hulu.
Corinealdi will play Jax Stewart, described as “the most brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles” who plays fast and loose with the law to get what she wants. According to Onyx Collective:
“In Reasonable Doubt, you’ll judge Jax Stewart for her questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law… until you’re the one in trouble. Then you’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.”
Freeform and Onyx Collective president Tara Duncan said that it is “hard to imagine a more idea creative partnership for our first Onyx Collective scripted series.”
“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,” said Duncan in a statement. “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.”
Mohamed also said she is “beyond thrilled” to have her first series with Onyx Collective.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Washington also talked about how Simpson Street’s partnership with Onyx Collective helps her production company achieve its mission statement.
“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. Each of us deserves to be and to see ourselves at the center of the narrative,” she said. “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.”
Simpson Street’s Pilar Savone will also executive produce with Washington. Larry Wilmore is executive producing through Wilmore Films, and Shawn Holley and John Leshay are co-executive producers.