'Counterpart' Breakout Nabs Lead in ABC's 50 Cent Drama

Nicholas Pinnock has been high on new ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke's list of must-get actors this pilot season.
Paul Barrass
Nicholas Pinnock

Counterpart breakout Nicholas Pinnock is headed to ABC.

The actor has nabbed the lead in the network's untitled drama pilot from writer Hank Steinberg and executive producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.

The pilot is described as a serialized legal and family drama about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves and reclaim the life that was stolen from him. The show will also, through the window of his ferocious struggle and complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden, examine the flaws and challenges in the penal and legal systems.

For British actor Pinnock, the role will be his stateside broadcast debut. He will play Aaron, someone who had it all as a thriving night club owner with a loving wife and daughter but who lost it all nine years ago when he was unjustly accused of drug dealing and thrown into prison, winding up with a life sentence when he wouldn't plea bargain. Having put himself through online law school, passed the bar and gotten a sponsorship from a high-proļ¬le judge, Aaron is now ready to practice law. He wants to focus on inmates like himself who have been unjustly accused and to somehow get his own conviction overturned.

Steinberg (The Last Ship) will pen the script and executive produce alongside Jackson, Isaac Wright Jr., Doug Robinson, Alison Greenspan and George Tillman Jr. (The Hate U Give), with the latter on board to direct the pilot. The potential series is a co-production between ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

Pinnock, who sources say was high on new ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke's talent wish list, is fresh off Starz's critical favorite Counterpart, which was recently canceled after its initial two-season order. His credits also include Showtime's Guerilla, Netflix's Top Boy, History's Barbarians Rising and Marcella. He had a minor role in Captain America: The First Avenger. Pinnock is repped by Independent Talent Group and Silver Lining Entertainment.

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