“They’re young, they’re hungry, they’re smart. Let them fight it out,” says one character in a teaser for the new legal drama series “For the People,” which ABC just picked up for the 2017-2018 television season. It’s executive produced by Shonda Rhimes through her ShondaLand production company, so it could continue a strong record for her shows, not just on ABC but at the Emmys as well.
“For the People” is created by ShondaLand writer Paul Davies (“Scandal”) and follows a group of the aforementioned young and hungry lawyers working at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Those lawyers represent both the prosecution and defense for high-profile federal cases. The cast includes past Emmy nominees Hope Davis (“In Treatment,” “The Special Relationship”), Ben Shenkman (“Angels in America”) and Vondie Curtis-Hall (“ER”), as well as “Nurse Jackie” alum Anna Deavere Smith and “Roots” breakout Rege-Jean Page. That’s a pretty awards-friendly lineup, so will it continue ShondaLand’s strong track record at the Emmys?
“Grey’s Anatomy” put Rhimes on the map when it premiered in 2005. It went on to receive two Emmy nominations for Best Drama Series (2006-2007) and won acting awards for Katherine Heigl (Best Drama Supporting Actress, 2007) and Loretta Devine (Best Drama Guest Actress, 2011). It’s still going strong on ABC; it’ll be back this fall for its 14th season, though it hasn’t contended for an Emmy since 2012.
In the years since the “Grey’s Anatomy” heyday, broadcast TV dramas have lost ground to cable and streaming outlets for awards recognition, but Rhimes’s “Scandal” still managed six Emmy noms between 2013 and 2015, including two Best Drama Actress bids for Kerry Washington (2013-2014) and two Best Drama Guest Actor victories for Dan Bucatinsky (2013) and Joe Morton (2014).
Then came “How to Get Away with Murder,” which made history in 2015 when star Viola Davis became the first black performer ever to win Best Drama Actress. Davis earned another nomination in 2016, and her on-screen mother Cicely Tyson scored one bid for Best Drama Guest Actress (2015).
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