The Good Wife standout Carrie Preston is set for a lead role in ABC’s eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement, When We Risewritten/executive produced by Dustin Lance Black and Bruce Cohen. Gus Van Sant is set to direct the first episode.

The mini chronicles the personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights struggle. Preston will play Sally Gearheart, a regal and smart radical, who has had a long career as a gay rights activist.

Preston is known for her Emmy-winning recurring role as quirky lawyer Elsbeth Tascioni on CBS’ The Good Wife, as well as her long run on HBO’s True Blood. Preston currently stars on the NBC comedy series Crowded, which premieres tonight.

Laurence Mark, Black and Cohen executive produce When We Rise for ABC Television Studios.