Riverdale’s Robin Givens is set to lead the ensemble cast of Ambitions, a soapy family drama from producer Will Packer, Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury. Rounding out the series regular cast are Essence Atkins (Marlon, Half and Half), Brian White (Ray Donovan, Scandal), Kendrick Cross (Acrimony), Brely Evans (Being Mary Jane) and Erica Page (Ozark, Bad Dad Rehab). Kevin Arkadie (The Quad, New York Undercover) has joined as showrunner and Benny Boom (All Eyez On Me, Black Lightning) directs the pilot episode. The series, which has begun production in Atlanta, is set to premiere in 2019 on OWN.
Created by executive producer/writer Jamey Giddens (The Rich and The Ruthless) from an original idea by Packer, Ambitions is a multigenerational family saga centered around one woman (Atkins) who, having recently relocated and intent on revitalizing her marriage, finds herself going head to head with some of the most powerful and deceitful players in the city.
Givens plays Stephanie Carlisle, the wife of Atlanta Mayor Evan Lancaster (Brian White), whose true loyalty is to her own family’s prestigious law firm, where she is the latest in a long line of distinguished lawyers. Stephanie desperately wants to be in charge of the Carlisle family law firm and quietly fumes about her father Stephen’s condescending assertion that she’s simply not ready yet.
Atkins portrays Amara, a lawyer in U.S. Attorney’s Office who has newly arrived in Atlanta with her husband, Titus (Kendrick Cross). Originally from Texas, she is quickly gaining attention from the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a diligent prosecutor but disappoints her supervisor by turning down the offer to run point on a major local case.
White’s Evan Lancaster, the Mayor of Atlanta, is married to attorney Stephanie Carlisle (Robin Givens). Evan’s political ambitions seem to cloud his judgement as he is willing to do anything to get to the next level in his career.
Cross’s Titus is an attorney who recently moved with his wife Amara (Essence Atkins) to Atlanta. Titus has been hired as in-house counsel for a big pharma company run by Hunter Purifoy, who is fighting a class action suit brought by the powerful Carlisle family.
Evans is Rondell, Atlanta Mayor Evan Lancaster’s (White) sister, who runs a not-quite-profitable restaurant called Thelma’s Place.
Page plays Bella, a fashion designer in Atlanta who designs all of Stephanie Carlisle’s (Givens) dresses for her.
Ambitions is produced by Will Packer Media in association with Lionsgate and Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. Packer is executive producer. Arkadie is executive producer/showrunner. Writer Jamey Giddens and Will Packer Media’s Sheila Ducksworth also serve as executive producers.
Givens currently plays Mayor Sierra McCoy in the hit CW teen drama Riverdale and stars as Wilhelmina Parker on the Bounce TV drama Saints and Sinners. She was recently cast in a major recurring role on ABC’s legal drama The Fix and can also be seen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful as ob/gyn Dr. Phillips. On the film side, she appears in the indie Never Heard which also stars Romeo Miller, Karrueche Tran, David Banner, Kandi Burruss, Jackie Long, Master P, and Dijon Talton.
Arkadie is co-creator of the series New York Undercover. Last season, he co-executive produced season two of The Quad. His previous credits include Chicago Hope (producer); NYPD Blue (supervising producer); The Shield (co-executive producer); Soul Food: The Series (executive producer) and Rescue 77.
Givens is repped by Pantheon. Atkins is represented by Buchwald and Kathy McComb Management. White is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency, Zero Gravity Management and attorney Eric Feig. Cross is represented by Houghton Talent. Evans is represented by J Pervis Talent. Page is repped by Houghton Talent. Boom is represented by Artists First Inc., Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano and ICM Partners.