Perry Mattfeld (Shameless) has landed the lead in the CW pilot In the Dark, from CBS TV Studios and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films. In addition, Brooke Markham (Dierdre & Laney Rob a Train) and Keston John (One Day She’ll Darken) have been cast in co-starring roles.
Written by Corinne Kingsbury and directed by The Big Sick helmer Michael Showalter, the project centers on Murphy (Mattfeld), a flawed and irreverent young woman who just happens to be blind and is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend, Tyson. When the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind — the guide-dog school owned by her overprotective parents.
Mattfeld’s Murphy is a disaffected, hard-drinking, promiscuous mess who pushes away anyone who cares for her, even her roommate and best friend, Jess (Markham). Jess is a well-meaning, nurturing veterinarian who is somewhat overly protective of Murphy, much to Murphy’s occasional irritation.
John will portray Darnell, a local drug dealer whose young cousin, Tyson, was dealing for him. He initially dismisses Murphy’s claims that she found Tyson dead in an alley before his body mysteriously disappeared. He thinks Murphy is a “sloppy, blind white girl” who is imagining things — but as she pursues her investigation, he begins to realize that Tyson really might be dead. Mistrustful of authority, Darnell refuses to go to the cops about Tyson, but he joins Murphy in her quest for justice — and his admiration and attraction for her grows at every step of their inquiry.
Kingsbury executive produces with Red Hour Films’ Stiller, Jackie Cohn and Nicky Weinstock.
The idea for In the Dark originated from the network and its social good program, CW Good, which last year began partnering with the Guide Dogs of America organization to sponsor litters of puppies to be trained as guide dogs (with a live puppy-cam of the litters on CWGood.com). Out of that came out the initial germ of an idea for a series involving a guide-dog program. The CW is consulting with experts on the In the Dark pilot.
Mattfeld, who graduated from the BFA program at USC just two years ago, recurred on the latest season of Shameless. She is repped by Innovative Artists.
Markham’s recent credits include the Sundance film Diedre & Laney Rob a Train and Cassandra French’s Finishing School for AT&T/DirecTV. She’s repped by Principal LA and the Kohner Agency.
John recently worked for James Cameron on Avatar 2 & 3 for 20th Century Fox. He’ll next be seen in Patty Jenkins’ TNT miniserie One Day She’ll Darkens and is wrapping up recurring arcs on Shameless and Bosch. He’s repped by Buchwald and Sinclair Jones.