After a 1-season stint on Fox’s “Gotham” during its first year on the air (I was actually hoping she would return as the unpredictably fun Fish Mooney), Jada Pinkett Smith is eyeing a return to TV, this time on ABC (aka Shondaland – at least on Thursday nights), in a project sold to the network, from A+E Studios, titled “Murder Town.”
In the potential series, Pinkett Smith will star as Wilmington, Delaware’s first African American District Attorney, who finds herself challenged by old loyalties and loves, a shocking revelation about her murdered husband and a polarizing, racially-charged case that threatens to turn her life and her city upside down.
ABC has ordered a pilot which is being scripted by Barry Schindel (“Intelligence,” “Numb3rs”), who will also exec produce with Pinkett Smith, and Miguel Melendez. Overbrook Entertainment will produce with A+E Studios.
This reminds me a little bit of 2 previously-announced projects, or a combo of both: the Viola Davis/Debra Martin Chase collaboration which will bring a new courtroom drama also to ABC, centering on a powerful female attorney, inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the current prosecutor of Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan, who happens to be only the second black 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. And second, there was the Anika Noni Rose/Ava DuVernay CBS pilot, “For Justice,” which was to follow a female FBI agent working in the Criminal Section of the Department of Civil Rights Division, who finds herself caught between her radical real family and her professional family. The first project is still a possibility; but CBS passed on “For Justice” earlier this year.
Assuming Pinkett Smith’s “Murder Town” is picked up to series eventually, I’m wondering where ABC would place it (day/time slot). It’ll be a second legal drama on the network with a black woman in the lead (Viola Davis in “How to get Away With Murder” being the other).