Grey’s Anatomy alum Sarah Drew hasn’t had the best of luck with new TV gigs. In the last two years alone, Drew has landed major roles in two TV pilots — Cagney and Lacey and The Republic of Sarah — that have been passed over by CBS execs in favor of other shows. However, Drew is finally returning to TV in a drama series that has already been picked up by Freeform.
Sarah Drew spent nine seasons playing Dr. April Kepner on Grey’s Anatomy, but she was written out of the series at the end of Season 14 following a reported decision to downsize the amount of characters on the show. After two cancellations and heartbreak, Drew is set to play a recurring role in the upcoming Cruel Summer, the new Freeform series produced by Limetown’s Jessica Biel.
The drama is a mystery-thriller that follows the lives of two young women — Kate, the seemingly perfect teen who disappears, and Jeannette, who falls from the height of popularity to the depths of disdain over the course of three summers set between 1993-1995. Per Deadline, Sarah Drew will play Cindy Turner, Jeannette’s mom and the once-popular girl who is trying to hold her family together amidst the small Texas town’s gossiping citizens.
Cruel Summer (which was previously titled Last Summer) sounds pretty intense. The series will rotate between the perspectives of Kate and Jeannette. At first sight, the pair are seemingly unconnected, but my guess is they most likely are. Sarah Drew’s character arc will unfold over the course of the first season, and it sounds like the audience will be thrown for a loop because nothing is as it seems.
Freeform ordered the series in January and originally cast Mika Abdalla in the pilot as Kate. However, Cloak & Dagger alum Olivia Holt replaced Abdalla in the role in May. In addition to Holt and Sarah Drew, Cruel Summer will star Tell Me Your Secrets vet Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Teen Wolf’s Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Nathaniel Ashton, and Brooklyn Sudano.
I think Sarah Drew’s casting in Cruel Summer is fantastic. The best part about the whole thing is that the show was already picked up, and so I’m sure Drew will probably not have to face the disappointment of another premature cancellation. That said, it's currently unclear as to how many Season 1 episodes she'll appear in as Cindy. Either way, Drew is back in the TV action, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Cruel Summer does not yet have an official premiere date, but I’d wager that it will debut at some point in 2021. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates and be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere guide for more on what to watch in the meantime.