EXCLUSIVE: Legal drama pilot Guilty is staying in contention at Fox as the studio behind it, Warner Bros. TV, has moved on to extend the options on four actors, including star Cuba Gooding Jr. Pilots that are kept alive post-upfronts after missing the cut to series are usually put in midseason consideration. But in an interesting twist, I hear that Fox is exploring different scenarios for Guilty, including a potential fall 2013 launch, so the actors’ extensions are longer than normal. Of the five regulars in the pilot, WBTV has extended the options of Cuba Gooding Jr., Jay Harrington, Eva Amurri Martino and Julian Morris. The option on Sharon Leal was not extended.
Guilty, from WBTV, Berlanti Prods. and Wonderland Sound and Vision, centers on a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney (Gooding Jr.) who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling and to ultimately exact revenge on the man who set him up. Guilty was written by Marc Guggenheim and directed by McG, who executive produced it with Greg Berlanti and Peter Johnson. The pilot came in strong, with Gooding Jr. testing very high. It didn’t make it to the schedule after the network decided to pick up only two new drama series for next season because of limited shelf space. But Fox brass remained interested in Guilty, leading to continuous conversations with the studio and the extension of the actors’ options.