EXCLUSIVE: Three years after the end of Ugly Betty, America Ferrera is ready to return to television full-time as the star of another hourlong project. Titled Damascus, the drama pitch sparked a heated bidding, landing at CBS with a put pilot commitment. In addition to starring, Ferrera also will executive produce alongside her Ugly Betty executive producer Teri Weinberg, with CBS TV Studios coming on board as studio. Written by producer Nick Osborne, Damascus is the story of a crusading nun (Ferrera) who practices law on behalf of the least fortunate, and has her beliefs tested when her life collides with an elitist corporate lawyer. As the two set out to help those in need of justice, they come up against a secretive and powerful organization that is determined to destroy them. The project expands Ferrera’s relationship with CBS and CBS Studios as her only major post-Ugly Betty TV gig has been an arc on their drama The Good Wife. (She is set to reprise her role this season.)
Ferrera, repped by ICM Partners, Authentic and Peikoff Mahan, had been sought after for pilots in the past three seasons but was focused on features and finishing college as her USC studies were interrupted by her casting in Ugly Betty, a role that earned her an Emmy award. She recently wrapped features Chavez and XY. Osborne, repped by Underground, CAA and Dave Feldman, is writing limited series project Conquistadors for FX. Former Reveille and NBC executive Weinberg, repped by David Fox, is executive producing freshman NBC series Ironside.