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Kevin Costner may be heading to television. Word broke this week that the veteran actor is in talks to star in a potential TV drama from popular producer David E. Kelley. The project is called The Trial, and it’s currently being set up over at Amazon. If The Trial moves forward, it’ll mark Costner’s first starring TV role in a series, coming just a few years after he played Devil Anse Hatfield in the History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.
The Trial will follow Billy McBride, a drunken slob of a lawyer who has seen better days. He once co-founded a high-profile firm, but he’s since been kicked out and only manages to get himself together and work when his ex-wife gives him cases. According to THR, McBride will get involved with a wrongful death case against his own firm that also happens to involve another lawyer from his old firm who also happens to have been ousted. The two will embark together on the trial, which should create all sorts of interesting complications and fascinating bits of drama.
A few years ago, Costner saw a career resurgence after being a part of the wildly popular Hatfields & McCoys. Unfortunately, the subsequent movies he subsequently starred in, stuff like Draft Day and McFarland, USA, were not big box office winners. Television has a much stronger reputation than it used to have, and a lot of big stars have signed on for TV shows, including but not limited to programs like True Detective or House of Cards, not to mention minis and TV movies like Behind the Candelabra. Costner would just be the latest to jump on the trend.
Currently Costner is only in talks for the series, but Amazon seems pretty serious about the deal. The streaming service is looking to give The Trial a straight-to-series order should the actor decide to sign on for the TV project. And no wonder. David E. Kelley has been churning out winners for years. He's the name behind such hits as Boston Legal, Harry’s Law, The Practice, Ally McBeal and Chicago Hope. Couple the prolific producer with a well-known actor like Kevin Costner, and interest around The Trial should be higher than most if not all of the original programming Amazon has greenlighted. Plus, the rumor mill says that Ally McBeal’s David Semel will direct the pilot.
With cable picking up more original programs and streaming services gaining an edge in the market, The Trial could be a good bet for Kevin Costner. We’ll let you know whether or not he decides to officially become a TV star. If he does, expect a really fun series that could see some awards in its future.