The Good Wife alumna Archie Panjabi is returning to series television as the star of ABC’s murder trial drama pilot The Jury. Additabclogoionally, The Illusionist and Limitless helmer Neil Burger has been tapped to direct the project, from Sony TV and ABC Studios. Written by VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli and executive produced by Carol Mendelsohn, The Jury examines “the ultimate social experiment” that happens thousands of times a day in the U.S.: a person’s fate is placed in the hands of 12 strangers.

Described as “12 Angry Men meets the podcast Serial,” the series follows a single murder trial a season as seen through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment, and how their preconceptions change along the way.

neilburgerPanjabi, who I hear has a one-year deal as The Jury is expected to follow different cases each season, will play the show’s protagonist, juror Kim. A force of nature cloaked in a professional demeanor, Kim’s not interested in making friends – she’s interested in the truth. She’s a crusader – someone who’s always had/is always looking for a cause. She’s been accused of jumping from cause to cause in the past, and maybe that’s true, but nobody can accuse her of not doing a hell of a job while she was there. When we meet Kim in the pilot, it’s been less than a year since she was ripped from the cause she thought she’d champion until her death.

Panjabi, who left The Good Wife last spring after five seasons, had been in demand this pilot season, fielding multiple offers until settling on The Jury. She previously had a development deal with 20th TV. Panjabi, an Emmy winner for The Good Wife, is repped by Gersh. Burger, who recently directed Divergent and the pilot for Showtime’s breakout new drama Billions, is repped by CAA.

Boyd executive produces The Jury with Carol Mendelsohn Prods’ Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz; Bianculli co-executive produces.