Anthony Anderson To Star In ‘Public Defenders’ ABC Pilot; Liz Astrof To Showrun & Randall Einhorn To Direct

A year after Black-ish ended its run, Anthony Anderson is returning to ABC as a star of another single-camera comedy, pilot Public Defenders. Randall Einhorn has come on board to direct the pilot written by Eddie Quintana. Liz Astrof is set as showrunner.

In the comedy, up to their earholes in student loan debt, four inexperienced public defenders work tirelessly to keep their clients out of jail. Along the way, they have to rely on one another to navigate their first defendants, the absurd court system and the copy machine that always jams.

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Anderson will play Marshall, the public defenders’ boss. He has seen every kind of public defender come through his office, and now that he’s a deputy-in-charge, he sees it as his responsibility to transform his deputies into cutthroat defense attorneys. Marshall’s hard line is revealed to be tough love, as he’s deeply protective of them.

Executive producing Public Defenders are Anderson, Quintana, Einhorn, Astrof as well as McG, Mary Viola and Corey Marsh for Wonderland Sound and Vision and Artists First’s E. Brian Dobbins. 20th Television is the studio.

Anderson starred for eight seasons on ABC’s Black-ish, which he also executive produced, earning seven Emmy nominations for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and sharing in four Comedy Series nominations. Getting him back on ABC has been a priority for the network and its sister studios this development cycle.

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Currently, Anderson is on a six-week journey around Europe with his mom for their upcoming reality series for E! Anthony Anderson and Mom: European Vacation. He also can be seen hosting the ABC game show To Tell the Truth and is executive producer of the Black-ish spinoff, Grown-ish for Freeform. Anderson reprised his role as Detective Kevin Barnard on the 21st season of NBC’s Law & Order and is attached to star in Amazon comedy series Miraculous. He is repped by UTA, Artists First, Goodman Genow Schenkman and The Initiative Group.

Along with her duties on Public Defenders, comedy veteran Astrof has comedy script The Last Happy Couple in contention at ABC for midseason. She recently created and served as showrunner on the comedy series Pivoting, which ran on Fox for one season. Previously, she served as a key writer-producer on 2 Broke Girls and was a co-executive producer on The Conners. Astrof is repped by CAA.

Einhorn most recently directed and executive produced Abbott Elementary for ABC. He is repped by Odenkirk-Provissiero and CAA.

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