When characters get killed off of popular TV shows, there’s the normal fanbase uprising to let the world know just how horrible a decision the shows’ writers made. But when Emily Kinney’s Beth Greene was shot to death on The Walking Dead in Season 5, it was as if someone had actually murdered Kinney herself. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and the actress’ adoring fans can now look forward to hopefully seeing her jump to network TV for a role in the upcoming ABC pilot Conviction alongside Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell and the recently cast Shawn Ashmore.
In Conviction, Atwell stars as the brainy and rebellious daughter within a heavily political family with a former President for a patriarch. She gets blackmailed into a new job as the head of the L.A.-based Conviction Integrity Unit, for which a team of investigators, lawyers and forensic specialists join forces to take on court cases where there is evidence they may have ended in wrongful convictions.
Kinney signed on to play Tess Thompson, a comic book alter ego if there ever was one. Tess is the CIU team’s paralegal, so expect Kinney to be…paralegal-ish. According to Deadline, she joined CIU after previously working for the Innocence Project, hoping for the opportunity to get more done from within the system. Much entertainment could be drawn from the prospect of watching these guys work on cases where there’s reasonable doubt over both the innocence and the guilt, and Kinney should be a solid addition to this already solid lineup of talent.
Just yesterday, The Following and X-Men franchise star Shawn Ashmore was also added to the cast of Conviction as Sam, a good-looking Assistant District Attorney. Sam was originally promised the job of leading CIU, and although he’s not happy about being skipped over, he takes it in stride and moves on. Maybe.
Conviction was co-created by Liz Friedman, who wrote the pilot, and Liz Friedlander, who will be directing. Friedman was a writer/producer on such series as House, Xena: Warrior Princess, Elementary and Jessica Jones, which speaks to her varied talents. Friedlander, meanwhile, is a music video-to-TV director who has worked on shows such as Stalker, 90210 and The Following, to name a few.
In the year and change since Emily Kinney was killed off The Walking Dead, she has appeared in The Flash and Forever, and took on recurring roles on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and Cinemax’s The Knick. It was only a matter of time before she logged another starring role.
There’s no telling when ABC will make a decision on Conviction’s future, but we’re already optimistic about its chances, based on the cast alone.