Viola Davis Is Starring In An ABC TV Pilot From Shondaland
Viola Davis is slated to become another Black lead actress on a prime time network television show in an ABC series from Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. Davis will headline a pilot for a show called How To Get Away With Murder. The show is described as
“a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives (Deadline).”
It sounds exciting so far! Actor Tom Verica will play Viola Davis’ husband in the show. Currently there is no guarantee that the show will get picked up or stay on the air. Right now its pilot season in Hollywood, meaning networks are shopping around for programming to add to next year’s line-up. Shonda Rhimes has a solid relationship with ABC having produced shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, which is currently in its 10th season, for the network. There’s a good chance this show will make to to the screen. This will mean Nicole Beharie, Kerry Washington, and Viola Davis will all be headlining prime time hits in Fall 2014.
Shonda Rhimes always pushes for diversity in her shows. For example, Grey’s Anatomy, which follows many strong female characters, is recognized for its blind casting policy. Scandal features Kerry Washington in the lead, and last year Rhimes teamed up with Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) to put a series on the air. Though ABC ultimately passed on the show, tentatively titled I Hate LA Dudes, its clear Rhimes is using her position to prominently feature more Black women on TV.
Octavia Spencer is also headlining a pilot for Fox rather than ABC. You can read the details of Red Band Society here.
Can you imagine the impact a television lineup consisting of Octavia Spencer, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, and Nicole Beharie will have on Black girls growing up today? All of these women are talented, classy, varied in age, shape, size, and make excellent role models.
Are there any more Black actresses you want in leading roles that would give us a better representation than what is shown on VH1?