EXCLUSIVE: Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer is set to co-star in Fox’s newly picked up legal drama series Proven Innocent, from Empire co-creator Danny Strong and writer David Elliott.

On the series, slated for a midseason launch, Grammer will play Gore Bellows, a hard-as-nails and tough-on-crime state’s attorney, who goes up against an underdog legal team committed to reopening investigations to exonerate the innocent who were “proven” guilty. Grammer replaces Brian D’Arcy James who played the role in the pilot as the character is being tweaked. As for James, a versatile character actor and a three-time Tony nominee, I hear the series’ producers and the network loved his performance and hope to cast him in a different role down the road.

Written by Elliott, Proven Innocent follows a criminal defense firm led by Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre), a fierce and uncompromising lawyer with a hunger for justice. There is no one who understands the power of setting an innocent person free more than Madeline. At age 18, she was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, Levi Scott (Riley Smith), in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession, a household name and a national cause célèbre.

While a hero and a victim to some, Madeline’s bold and bullish tactics earn her a number of enemies – especially Gore Bellows (Grammer), the prosecutor who initially put her away and still believes in her guilt. Despite Bellows’ ceaseless quest to see her behind bars again, Madeline will continue to defend others, even as she fights to maintain her innocence and searches for the real killer in her own case.

“The subject matter is very timely and worth exploring; I am excited to be a part of that,” said Grammer.

Also co-starring in the series are Russell Hornsby, Vincent Kartheiser, Nikki M. James.

From 20th Century Fox Television and Danny Strong Productions, Proven Innocent is executive-produced by Strong, Elliot and Stacy Greenberg. Patricia Riggen directed the pilot.

Grammer is best known for his role as Dr. Frasier Crane on classic comedy series Cheers and Frasier, which earned him five Emmy awards. For the last seven years he has been focused mostly on drama roles, starring on Boss, The Last Tycoon and now Proven Innocent. As a voice actor, Grammer has been a longtime recurring cast member of Fox/20th TV’s The Simpsons and most recently did Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters on Netflix. Both have earned him Emmy Awards (one Primetime and one Daytime). Grammer is repped by UTA and Link Entertainment.