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‘Doubt’ Producers on Their Show’s Transgender Breakthrough – IndieWire’s TURN IT ON Podcast

Creators Tony Phelan and Joan Rater on how their transgender son inspired them to cast Laverne Cox on the new CBS legal drama, alongside Katherine Heigl and Elliott Gould. Plus: A roundup of the week's new shows.

Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox, “Doubt”


LAST WEEK’S PODCAST: ‘The Missing’ Star David Morrissey on His ‘The Walking Dead’ Legacy, Those ‘Doctor Who’ Rumors and the Obligation to Help Refugees – IndieWire’s TURN IT ON Podcast

Having spent years as writer/producers on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Tony Phelan and Joan Rater wanted to do something a bit different for their next show – so they turned to law. “Doubt,” their new CBS legal drama, stars Katherine Heigl as the driving force behind a firm that specializes in legal defense.

The show also stars Elliot Gould, Dule Hill and Laverne Cox, who is now the first transgender series regular on a broadcast TV show. As a matter of fact, Cox’s character even has one of the show’s central romantic storylines of the show’s freshman season.

Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, “Doubt”

Luke Fontana Photography

Turn It On recently sat down with Phelan and Rater, and the married couple shared how they were inspired by their transgender son, who transitioned a few years ago, in creating Cox’s character.

They also explained some of the lessons they learned working with Shonda Rhimes on “Grey’s Anatomy” and how they also wanted “Doubt” to balance its dramatic legal moments with some lighthearted ones. Plus: There’s a secret to a successful marriage as co-workers – and it involves driving separate cars.

“Doubt” premieres Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

Joan Rater and Tony Phelan on IndieWire’s “Turn It On” podcast


Also in this episode: IndieWire TV critic Ben Travers and senior editor Hanh Nguyen take us through the week’s big premieres, including “Planet Earth II,” “Big Little Lies” and more.

Listen below!

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. Each episode features interviews with producers, reviews, essays on the latest buzz and trends, plus a roundup of what’s premiering and what’s returning over the coming week. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

LISTEN: Why a TV Show’s Premiere Date Still Matters, Even in the Age of Binging (Very Good TV Podcast)

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Wednesday.

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