Pretty Little Liars alumna Troian Bellisario is set as the female lead opposite Patrick Dempsey in CBS’ Ways & Means. Phil Abraham has come on board to direct the political drama pilot from former SEAL Team showrunner Ed Redlich, Republican political consultant Mike Murphy, Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi’s PatMa Productions and CBS TV Studios.
Written by Murphy and Redlich, Ways & Means centers on a powerful congressional leader (Dempsey) who has lost faith in politics. He finds himself working secretly with an idealistic young congresswoman (Bellisario) from the opposing party to subvert the hopelessly gridlocked system he helped create. Together, they’ll attempt to save American politics — if they don’t get caught.
Bellisario’s Claire is a newly elected, progressive, idealistic freshman Democratic Congresswoman who leads with her intelligence and straightforwardness. She’s going to have to figure out how to merge her idealism with her ambition – she will either change Congress, or Congress will change her.
In addition to Dempsey, Bellisario joins previously cast Amanda Warren.
Dempsey and Murphy executive produce with Tassler and Di Novi via PatMa, Tom Lassally of 3 Arts and Abraham. Dempsey’s manager, Joannie Burstein, serves as co-executive producer.
Bellisario recently starred opposite Cate Blanchett in the Annapurna feature Where’d You Go Bernadette, directed by Richard Linklater. She is best known for her starring role as Spencer Hastings on the hit Freeform series Pretty Little Liars. She also wrote, produced and starred in the Sony feature Feed and was the lead of Jon Avnet’s web series Wigs. Bellisario is repped by Gersh, Management 360, and Paul Hastings.