Onyx Collective Greenlights 'Reasonable Doubt' in First Scripted Series Pick-Up
Emayatzy Corinealdi Set to Star in the Drama Series From Writer and Executive Producer Raamla Mohamed
Executive Producer Kerry Washington Set to Direct the First Episode
Onyx Collective announced today that it has picked up Reasonable Doubt as its first scripted series. The drama series, from writer and executive producer Raamla Mohamed and executive producer Kerry Washington, is produced by ABC Signature and will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. Mohamed leads an all-black writing staff on the series.
Emayatzy Corinealdi, best known for her award-winning turn as Ruby in Middle of Nowhere, is set to star in the lead role of Jax Stewart in the series.
Washington, who has previously directed episodes of Scandal, Smilf and Insecure, will take the helm to direct the first episode.
In Reasonable Doubt, you'll judge Jax Stewart for her questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law... until you're the one in trouble. Then you'll see her for what she is: the most brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles who bucks the justice system at every chance she gets.
"It's hard to imagine a more ideal creative partnership for our first Onyx Collective scripted series," said Tara Duncan, President, Freeform and Onyx Collective. "Raamla and Kerry came to us with their passion project and a strong vision for a dynamic series that will surely get an audience talking. And to cast Emayatzy, who embodies the complexities of the lead character beautifully, was a huge get. We're excited to bring this series to life."
Writer and executive producer Raamla Mohamed said, "I am beyond thrilled that my first television show will be part of the Onyx Collective. As a 2012 alum of the ABC/Disney Writer's Program, I've been in the Disney family for a minute now and it has always been my dream to be able to create the kind of series based on people that look like me and made by people who look like me. I am grateful to Tara Duncan, Shawn Holley, Simpson Street, Wilmore Films and ABC Signature for believing in this project from the beginning and trusting it in my hands. And I'm especially excited to be working with Kerry as a director on what is our third project together. As the kids say, I love this for us."
Executive producer and director Kerry Washington added, "Simpson Street was founded with the belief that we are each the lead character in the story of our lives regardless of who we are, where we are born, what we believe or who we love. Each of us deserves to be and to see ourselves at the center of the narrative. It's a privilege to partner with Onyx, a brand dedicated to centering creators of color and underrepresented voices, on their first scripted drama series. I am excited to be working with the great Larry Wilmore and to be once again collaborating with the brilliant Raamla Mohamed, who will lead an all-Black writers room on a series led by the phenomenal Emayatzy Corinealdi. This is a proud moment for all of us at Simpson Street and we could not ask for better partners all around."
Emayatzy Corinealdi's breakout performance came in Middle of Nowhere, directed by Ava DuVernay, for which she won "Breakthrough Actor" at the Gotham Awards and was nominated for "Best Actress" at the Independent Spirit Awards. She then went on to star in the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, opposite Don Cheadle for Sony Pictures and also starred in Karyn Kusama's psychological thriller, The Invitation, which premiered opening night of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. Prior to that, she starred in Greg Berlanti's CBS limited series Red Line and had a multi-episode arc opposite Dwayne Johnson on the HBO hit series Ballers. Corinealdi is represented by UTA, Atlas Artists, Viewpoint and Del Shaw.
Raamla Mohamed will write and executive produce alongside Kerry Washington and Pilar Savone for Simpson Street and Larry Wilmore via Wilmore Films. Shawn Holley and Jon Leshay are co-executive producers.
Mohamed is represented by Mickey Berman and Marissa Devins at UTA and Dean Bahat at Ziffren.
Washington is represented by CAA, Washington Square Arts, Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman and The Lede Company.
ABOUT ONYX COLLECTIVE
Onyx Collective is a new content brand formed under Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment programming by creators of color and underrepresented voices. Onyx Collective's debut project, Questlove's award-winning documentary "Summer of Soul (... or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)," debuted this summer on Hulu. The brand's roster of prolific creators also includes writer and comedian Natasha Rothwell ("Insecure," "SNL"), writer, producer and director Prentice Penny's Penny for Your Thoughts, and all non-Marvel titles produced by Ryan Coogler's Proximity ("Judas and the Black Messiah," "Black Panther").
Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney's Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) Award-winning series The Handmaid's Tale and The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy Award-nominated series Pen15 alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Normal People, The Great, Hillary and Solar Opposites; Oscar(R) and Emmy nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films Palm Springs, Run and Happiest Season. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks - available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime-inspired comedy Only Murders in the Building starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez and the book-to-screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.
ABOUT SIMPSON STREET
In 2016, Kerry Washington launched her production company Simpson Street, developing broadcast, cable and digital projects. The company's debut film, HBO's CONFIRMATION, starred Washington as Anita Hill. The film received Emmy, NAACP and Critics' Choice nominations and won the WGA Award for Long Form - Original.
In June 2018, Simpson Street launched "Five Points," the first scripted series for Facebook Watch. A co-production with Indigenous Media, the second season dropped August 2019. In September 2018, the company made its Broadway debut with the critically acclaimed production of American Son, which also starred Washington. In January 2019, Washington announced that Simpson Street would be partnering with Netflix to adapt American Son for the screen. The production, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was released as a Netflix Television Event. The film received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. The company also received a PGA nomination for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures in support of AMERICAN SON, as well as three NAACP nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie for Washington, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special; Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special; and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television). Simpson Street produced the ABC special, "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" in Fall 2019, which featured re-imaginings of the classic sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Good Times." The special received four Emmy nominations and took home the trophy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live). Simpson Street brought their latest film, THE FIGHT, to Sundance in January 2020 where Magnolia Pictures picked up the distribution rights. This documentary provides unprecedented access to 5 ACLU lawyers as they battle the previous administration's attack on human rights and civil liberties - from the 'Muslim Ban' to abortion rights. It was released on-demand and in theaters in July 2020.
In Spring 2020, Simpson Street and Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine collaborated on "Little Fires Everywhere" for Hulu. Both Witherspoon and Washington star in the limited series based on the best-selling novel by Celeste Ng. Washington received Emmy, SAG, and NAACP Image Award nominations for her portrayal of Mia Warren. The series received multiple NAACP Image Award and Emmy nominations, including 'Outstanding Limited Series'. Other projects in development include action-drama SHADOW FORCE in partnership with Sterling K. Brown's Indian Meadows Productions and Made with Love Media's Stephen "Dr" Love, Disney Branded Television original movie FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON in partnership with Gamechanger Films, based on Janae Marks' book of the same name, and Netflix's film adaptation of Diane Cardwell's ROCKAWAY in partnership with 3dot Productions and Aevitas Entertainment, written by Nichelle Tramble.