ABC has released the first trailer for “Rebel,” a new drama based on the life of environmental activist Erin Brockovich. Set after the events of the Julia Roberts starrer that made her a household name, “Rebel” stars Katey Sagal (“Married… with Children,” “Sons of Anarchy”) as the indefatigable agitator. The series was created by three-time Emmy nominee Krista Vernoff, a showrunner of “Grey’s Anatomy” and writer on “Shameless.” Vernoff executive produced the aptly titled “Rebel” along with Brockovich.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich today, Annie ‘Rebel’ Bello is a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree. She’s a funny, messy, brilliant and fearless woman who cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves. When Rebel applies herself to a fight she believes in, she will win at almost any cost.”
Fans of Steven Soderbergh’s “Erin Brockovich” from 2000 will remember the character’s famous blue humor and penchant for telling it like it is.
“I’ve been told to watch my mouth plenty of times, but it’s passion,” Brockovich shared in ABC’s panel discussion during the Winter Television Critics Association tour. “Why do you have to respond a certain way when some of the things you’re dealing with are full of passion and angst and fear and lies and deception? Not always is my response calm, cool, and collected. Why would anybody not understand why you get upset over certain issues?”
Vernoff jumped in to joke that, “If Erin edited herself more effectively, we would have a way less exciting, dramatic, TV show.”
“She’s not a lawyer, she’s just loud,” says one woman in the upbeat first trailer, which opens with a thrumming bluegrass-flecked tune. John Corbett, looking his relatable everyman best as Rebel’s husband Grady, asks: “If you don’t go to work, who’s gonna save the world?” Andy Garcia plays Rebel’s legal associate Cruz; the characters appear to have a convivial but somewhat headache-inducing friendship.
Like legal shows with women at the helm such as “The Good Wife” or “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Rebel” fills out its top-line stars with a spirited ensemble of up and coming talent. The show also stars James Lesure (“Good Girls”), Lex Scott Davis (“The First Purge”), Tamala Jones (“Castle”), Ariela Barer (“Runaways”), Kevin Zegers (“Transamerica”), and Sam Palladio (“Nashville”).
ABC announced today the addition of “Grey’s Anatomy” favorite Abigail Spencer in a recurring role. Spencer joins previously announced recurring stars Mary McDonnell, Dan Bucatinsky, Adam Arkin, MoMcRae and Daniella Garcia, among others.
Vernoff will serve as showrunner on the series. “Rebel” is executive produced by Vernoff and Alexandre Schmitt of Trip the Light; Erin Brockovich, John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment; Andrew Stearn, Marc Webb and Adam Arkin.
Check out the intriguing first trailer for “Rebel” starring Katey Sagal below: