Kerry Washington Slated as Lead in Shonda Rhimes’ ABC Pilot

Actress set to play character based on famous crisis-management consultant.

Posted: 02/09/2011 12:37 PM EST

Television may get another taste of movie star power. Kerry Washington has signed on to lead Shonda Rhimes' drama pilot for ABC, tentatively titled In Crisis. The show is based on the career of famous crisis-management consultant Judy Smith. The pilot revolves around the life and work of professional fixer Olivia Price (played by Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Olivia Price is described as something of a legend, a formidable, driven, insightful, intuitive and fearless woman.

Actor Columbus Short, of Stomp the Yard fame, is set to co-star as a lawyer on her team.

Although In Crisis is a pilot and hasn’t officially been greenlit, with Rhimes’ record of hit shows at the network (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Off the Map) it is very likely the drama will be picked up. If this is the case, this will be the second attempt in recent years—NBC canceled Undercovers last year after just 11 episodes—at launching a non-black network show with two Black leads. Washington had been a front-runner for the lead character, which was written for an African-American, something very unusual for a network drama. The rest of the roles on the pilot are being cast colorblind, which is how Rhimes cast Grey's Anatomy.

Image:  Gregg DeGuire / PictureGroup

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