Jessica Biel to Star in USA Network Crime Thriller 'The Sinner'

The actress also will exec produce the project, which centers on a young mother who commits a public act of violence.
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Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is plotting her return to television.

USA Network has ordered a pilot for drama The Sinner, starring and executive produced by the actress, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Based on Petra Hammesfahr’s best-selling book of the same name, The Sinner centers on a young mother who is overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage and commits a startling and very public act of violence. Even worse, she has no idea why. The incident launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the who or the what — but the why. A rogue investigator finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman's buried motive, and together they travel a harrowing path into the depths of her psyche and the violent secrets hidden in her past.

Derek Simonds (The Astronauts Wives Club) wrote the pilot and Antonio Campos (Simon Killer) is set to direct. The two will exec produce with Biel and her producing partner Michelle Purple through their Iron Ocean Films banner. Universal Cable Productions will produce the hourlong drama.

If picked up to series, The Sinner would mark Biel's first TV regular role in nearly 15 years. She famously got her start on the long-running family drama 7th Heaven but departed the series after six seasons, occasionally making guest appearances thereafter.

With the exception of a one-episode stint on New Girl and voice roles on animated comedies BoJack Horseman and Family Guy, Biel has largely stuck to film in recent years with credits such as Valentine's Day, The A-Team and The Illusionist. She is repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman.

Campos is repped by UTA, Washington Square Films and Nelson Davis.

The Sinner is USA's third pilot order of the 2016-17 development season, joining Damnation and The Tap. Both pilots hail from UCP. The studio is behind a majority of USA's originals slate, with the exception of the network's upcoming Shooter remake, which is co-produced by Paramount TV, and the recently renewed Queen of the South from Fox 21.

The Sinner continues USA's descent into darker and edgier programming that began with sophomore hacker drama Mr. Robot, which recently earned six Emmy nominations including best drama series. The NBCUniversal cabler's other upcoming series include the supernatural drama Falling Water and the crime thriller Eyewitness.

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