Orange Is the New Black alumna Laverne Cox has been tapped as the co-lead alongside Meaghan Rath in The Trustee, ABC’s comedic one-hour pilot from the Smurfs writers Jay Scherick and David Ronn, Warner Bros. TV and Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s studio-based Brownstone Productions.
Cox is coming off CBS’ midseason legal drama Doubt where she made history as the first transgender actor cast as a regular on a broadcast series. ABC and WBTV were in the midst of casting the role of Amanda Jones in The Trustee, testing a number of actresses, when CBS recently pulled Doubt after two airings. ABC and WBTV immediately went after Cox who quickly came on board. I hear Cox is technically in second position to Doubt, which has not been officially canceled but is not coming back.
Written by Scherick and Ronn and directed by Michael Engler, The Trustee is described as a fun, female buddy cop comedy about Eliza Radley (Rath), a driven but stubborn detective who finds unlikely help from her precinct’s trustee, Amanda Jones (Cox) a larger-than-life ex-con finishing out her prison sentence doing menial tasks for the police department. Though these two have completely opposing views on crime and punishment, a highly entertaining and successful partnership is born.
Banks, Scherick, Ronn, Jonathan Collier, Handelman and Engler executive produce for Banks and Handelman’s Brownstone Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Cox earned an Emmy nomination for her work on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. She is also a Daytime Emmy Award–winning producer of The T Word. Laverne is the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. She is repped by ICM Partners, PH Entertainment Group and Peikoff/Mahan Law.
Brownstone Prods., which has overall film deal at Universal and television deal at Warner Brothers TV, is currently in production on Pitch Perfect 3. In addition to The Trustee, the company has The Most Hated Woman In America, starring Melissa Leo as controversial atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, which will premiere at SXSW before a release by Netflix.
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