EXCLUSIVE: ABC’s second season of American Crime is raising its returning cast members to five. It was announced tonight at Deadline’s Emmy screening for the series that Season 1 regulars Richard Cabral and Elvis Nolasco will be joining Timothy Hutton, Regina King and Felicity Huffman, who were previously announced. Those actors returning for Season 2 of American Crime will play new characters in a new setting.
“After playing individuals on the fringes of the law, Season 2 will offer complete role reversals for both Elvis and Richard,” American Crime executive producer John Ridley told Deadline. “Elvis playing a fundamentally good man scapegoated by the system in which he works. Richard as someone who takes it upon himself to stand for the rights of others, even if it means he stands alone. Elvis and Richard both gave revelatory performances last year, and we are so happy to have them rejoining Felicity, Tim and Regina.”
When asked by Deadline’s Dominic Patten about how far along he was on season two, Ridley replied, “Up until an hour ago, I’m ripping up the all the work that I have and starting over…I want to make sure the emotional honesty is there.”
While the first season followed the aftermath of a murder in Modesto, CA, Season 2 will film in Austin, with production likely to begin in July. In terms of season 2’s exact locale, Ridley says the story takes place “in the Midwest, which is where I grew up…it’s a place that when you hear it, there’s no preconceived notions.” Michael J. McDonald also executive producers American Crime for ABC Studios. Ridley, McDonald, Cabral and Nolasco were present at tonight’s Q&A following Deadline’s screening of the Season 1 finale.Ridley mentioned at the screening that he first met Nolasco at a table reading of an HBO pilot that Spike Lee was directing four years ago. The actor that was scheduled to be at the reading then didn’t show up, and within 48 hours, Nolasco flew in from the Dominican Republic and “didn’t know the script but gave a nuanced, intelligent, thoughtful performance,” said Ridley.
Ridley told Deadline previously that King’s character in Season 2 “is going to be at the center of a story that deals with physicality, sexuality and societal boundaries with the same urgency as our first season dealt with race and faith.”
Further expounding on season 2’s themes, Ridley added during the American Crime Q&A that season 2 will also deal with “sexual orientation and boundaries as it relates to young people and the system that we hope has the best interests of our families and hearts.”
Both Cabral and Nolasco are repped by APA.