‘Scandal’ star steps behind camera, creates new drama

  • By Frazier Moore Associated Press
  • Monday, July 14, 2014 10:40am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Tony Goldwyn has displayed a lack of ethics in the White House.

As President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC’s hit melodrama “Scandal,” he has cheated on his wife right under her nose and even smothered a pesky Supreme Court justice on her sickbed.

But in his behind-the-camera roles as producer, director and writer, Goldwyn is exposing the ethical minefields of the justice system in a fine new drama “The Divide.”

This eight-episode series, which premieres on WE tv (local Comcast digital channel 502) at 9 p.m. Wednesday, teams Goldwyn with fellow creator and producer Richard LaGravenese (writer of last year’s HBO film “Behind the Candelabra”), who penned the two-hour debut.

Inspired by the real-life Innocence Project (which works to exonerate wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing), “The Divide” focuses on a young Philadelphia caseworker for the Innocence Initiative named Christine Rosa, who has become obsessed with winning a last-ditch appeal for a white inmate soon facing execution for the murder of a black family.

As Christine (series star Marin Ireland) and her boss (Paul Schneider) probe inconsistencies in the case, they butt heads with the city’s charismatic African-American district attorney (Damon Gupton), even as he begins to acknowledge problems with the racially charged verdict, which vaulted him to prominence a dozen years ago but, if it came apart now, could be his undoing.

“In the past,” Goldwyn said, “I had assumed that if someone’s in prison, they probably did it. I didn’t realize how much gray area there is in our justice system, and how many cracks catch people without money and influence.”

“On the show, we try to come to terms with the ambiguity of human nature,” adds LaGravenese. “In the Writers Room, I said, ‘Let’s get rid of words like “good” and “bad.” That’s not what our show is about.”

The two first worked together when LaGravenese did a script rewrite for the Goldwyn-directed 2010 film “Conviction,” which starred Hilary Swank in a dramatization of an actual Innocence Project case.

When that was done, said Goldwyn, “I wanted to explore the Innocence Project further. I thought a TV series would be a great way.”

WE tv, in the midst of a network-wide rebranding, claimed “The Divide” as its first-ever scripted series — a hoped-for repeat of how, in 2007, a new drama called “Mad Men” heralded the revamping of AMC.

Goldwyn and LaGravenese went back to work to beef up the narrative in preparation for adding and reshooting scenes for the pilot.

Goldwyn had landed the original deal for “The Divide” before committing to “Scandal,” but despite those “presidential” duties (which he resumes for season four later this month), he said the show was generous in giving him freedom to develop “The Divide.”

More in Life

New documentary chronicles Obama’s last year in White House

“The Final Year” doesn’t paint the administration in rosy colors, but it isn’t too critical either.

‘Forever My Girl’ takes a page from the Nicholas Sparks genre

The film based on a novel by Heidi McLaughlin is a well-worn tale of lost love and redemption.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

International guitar tour led by Lulo Reinhardt stops in Edmonds

International Guitar Night, now in its 18th year, is Jan. 24 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

New Cascadia Art Museum exhibit showcases mid-century designs

The exhibition includes ceramics, furniture, clothing, sculpture and jewelry from 1948 to 1966.

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Slow-roasted vegetables make sumptuous sauce for pasta

Make the basic but good spaghetti with red sauce blissfully better with this recipe.

Mocking meatloaf: One man’s loaf is another man’s poison

Some don’t like it and some do. Here are six meatloaf recipes to try.

Roasted Brussels sprouts can be the apple of picky eater’s eye

Toasted sesame seeds and diced apple add flavors that compliment the sprouts’ earthiness.

Most Read