October 17, 2013 11:13am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Parenthood' EP, Shaun Cassidy Team for NBC Pharmaceutical Drama (Exclusive)
NBC is turning its lens to the mysterious world of pharmaceutical companies.
The network is teaming with Parenthood executive producer Lawrence Trilling and Shaun Cassidy for Empowered, a family thriller set in the pharmaceutical world that has received a script commitment from the network.
The drama revolves around Charlotte Davis, the public face of Omni Health, a massive pharmaceutical company with its tentacles in everything from bioengineering and nanotechnology to the U.S. military. When Charlotte's father is tragically killed and a mysterious stranger shows up on her doorstep claiming that Omni -- and Charlotte's husband -- are responsible, she finds herself torn between her search for the truth and the company that's always been her family. Against the backdrop of dangerous pharmaceutical experiments with far-reaching implications for everyone involved, Charlotte must risk everything she has left to uncover the truth.
Trilling will pen the script and direct should the drama move to pilot. He'll executive produce with Cassidy, with whom he worked on the latter's ABC drama Invasion. The drama marks the first sale for Cassidy under his new two-year overall deal with Universal Television.
Trilling's credits include exec producing and directing NBC's Parenthood; he also has directed Masters of Sex and was a co-EP on Pushing Daisies. He's repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman. Cassidy most recently was a consulting producer on CBS' Blue Bloods and developed the Western The Frontier for NBC via Sony Pictures Television. The drama from EP Thomas Schlamme was picked up to pilot but did not move forward in 2012. His credits also include Invasion, The Mountain and Cold Case. Cassidy is with CAA and Myman Greenspan.