Southside with You and The Haves and the Have Nots star Tika Sumpter is set to topline and co-executive produce The 313, a CBS drama project from writer Tracy McMillan (Satisfaction, Mad Men) and producer Michael London. This marks the first broadcast sale for London under the first-look deal he and his production company, Groundswell Productions, entered with CBS TV Studios in June.
In The 313 (which is Detroit’s area code), when a sex scandal brings down the current administration, a 29-year-old female City Council President (Sumpter) suddenly becomes the Mayor of Detroit and has to contend with all the staggering obstacles the job brings.
McMillan is writing the script and will executive produce alongside London and Sumpter’s manager, Emily Gerson Saines of Brookside Artist Management, for CBS TV Studios. The project was brought to Groundswell by director of development Hilary Zaitz Michael.
Groundswell Productions’ TV portfolio includes Hulu’s upcoming psychological drama series Chance starring Hugh Laurie, the newly picked up FX drama series Snowfall, the Syfy fantasy series The Magicians and the Emmy-nominated HBO movie Confirmation starring Kerry Washington.
Sumpter was recently seen playing young Michelle Obama in the buzzy feature Southside with You, which she also produced, and co-starring in HBO’s Bessie. She also stars on the hit OWN drama series The Have and the Have Nots, which is returning with new episodes in January. The Tyler Perry series films its seasons in condensed production windows, freeing up actors to take on other projects. I understand that going forward, The 313 will have Sumpter in first position but she would be allowed to finish her current obligation to the OWN show on a non-interfering basis.
Sumpter, London and McMillan are repped by WME. McMillan is also with Jackoway Tyerman. Gerson Saines’ producing credits include the HBO’s Temple Grandin, sharing in its best TV movie Emmy win, and Dukes of Oxy, in the works at New Line.
Other CBS drama development projects for next season that have talent attached include Dr. Death, starring Alan Cumming, and In the Country We Love, toplined by Diane Guerrero. Both projects have big-name producers attached.