The Following's Natalie Zea Joins ABC's Members Only

ABC has a pretty packed schedule set for the 2014-2015 season, but it looks like the network’s Susannah Grant show, Members Only, is definitely still moving forward. On Monday, it was announced that The Following’s Natalie Zea is set to star in the brand new drama, which will focus on an exclusive Connecticut country club.

Members Only is expected to be set up a little like Downton Abbey without the period stuffiness. The show will focus partly on the upper crust members of the Connecticut elite who actually pay for the country club memberships. Additionally, Members Only will also look at the lives of the group of employees who work within the establishment, making sure that things run smoothly for their patrons. If you are wondering which side of the railroad tracks Zea’s characters hails from, you should be unsurprised to hear she will play a member of the club’s “founding family.”

I’m personally not as jazzed about Zea’s addition as I probably should be. With Natalie Zea’s arc ending on The Following, I kind of hoped Justified would find more room for her during the show’s upcoming sixth season. I know the cable show has moved well beyond Raylan and Winona’s overdramatic romance, made particularly clear during Season 5 when Raylan refused to travel to Florida to see his child, but the romantic in me still wishes for a little more romance or at least more closure there. I suppose Zea still could pop up in an episode or two of the FX series, but it seems she is moving on to greener pastures, as Deadline is reporting her character on Members Only, Mickey, will get to be beautiful, smart and wealthy—a far cry from the beautiful, harried and jilted character she played on FX.

Zea isn’t the first addition to Members Only. If I Stay’s R.J. Cutler is set to direct the project, which was created and will be produced by Grant. Additionally, quite a few actors have already joined the cast. Most notably among these is Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt, who is coming off of a gig on Masters of Sex. However, the cast list is already pretty large, including Sin City: A Dame To Kill For actress Callie Hernandez, The Mob Doctor actress Jamie Lee Kirchner, Burlesque actor Michael Landes, Baggage Claim’s Boris Kodjoe and relative newcomer Chris Conroy.

Since Members Only is headed straight-to-series and has attracted some major talent, we should be seeing the show on ABC sooner rather than later. Still, ABC has a pretty packed schedule for the 2014-2015 season, with mainstays like Scandal and newbies like Agent Carter all getting slots. I’m sure Members Only will be happy to jostle for a spot in the lineup, and we’ll let you know when ABC makes a decision regarding a premiere date.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.