ABC Nabs Legal Drama From Shondaland & ‘Scandal’ Writer With Big Commitment

Nellie Andreeva
Deadline

Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, which has five drama series on the ABC schedule this season, is taking a step toward another hourlong series on the network next season with a pilot production commitment for a legal drama.

Once again, Shondaland has recruited a writer on one of its shows, Scandal’s Paul William Davies, who will pen the untitled project.

Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka “The Mother Court,” the legal drama follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.

Davies will executive produce with Rhimes and Beers. ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based, is the studio.

With five drama series on ABC —  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed — Shondaland made comedy a focus in development this season. It sold a single-camera half-hour comedy from Sex and the City alumna Liz Tuccillo to ABC with a script commitment plus penalty.

As its series portfolio grew over the last few years, Shondaland also dramatically expanded over the last few months, transforming itself as a fully functioning pod with its own infrastructure via six executive hires and promotions.

Davies is repped by WME and attorneys Ken Richman and Robby Koch. Rhimes is repped by ICM Partners and Michael Gendler.

 

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