Elisabeth Shue to Star in TNT Drama Pilot From Robert Downey Jr. (Exclusive)

'Constance,' from Team Downey, is one of two dramas to be ordered to pilot at the Turner-owned cable network.
Karwai Tang/Getty; Barry King/Getty
Elisabeth Shue, Robert Downey Jr.

TNT is replenishing its pilot crop.

The Turner-owned cable network has handed out pilot orders to dramas Constance, starring Elisabeth Shue and executive produced by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, as well as Beast Mode, from writer David Schneiderman (Level Up).

Constance, written by KC Perry (The Originals), is described as a fun, darkly humorous, veneer-stripping story about one woman's refusal to fade into obsolescence. It follows former beauty queen turned small town bureaucrat Constance Young (Shue, Leaving Las Vegas, CSI), whose life is thrown into turmoil after her husband’s mysterious death. Realizing she and her family are on the verge of financial ruin, Constance turns to cooking the books at City Hall, while simultaneously trying to reinvent herself through the hyper-competitive world of direct-sales cosmetics. 

The potential series hails from Sonar Entertainment, where the Iron Man star and his wife's production company, Team Downey, have an overall deal. Both will exec produce alongside Amanda Burrell, Bill Dubuque (Ozark), Tom Lesinski, Jenna Santoianni (Mr. Mercedes) and Jesse Peretz (GLOW), with the latter set to direct the pilot, which is a co-production with Turner's Studio T. Shue, who next stars in Amazon's straight-to-series comic book drama The Boys, and Perry will also exec produce.

Beast Mode, meanwhile, is inspired by the life of legendary boxing trainer Ann Wolfe and tells the story of a brilliant yet damaged woman with a "kill or be killed" mentality. While those qualities make her a great trainer, they tend to cause problems in the rest of her life. Schneiderman will exec produce the pilot, which hails from MACRO and Studio T. Stefanie Huie and MACRO's Charles D. King (Mudbound), Kim Roth (Inside Man) and Poppy Hanks (Fences) will exec produce. Wolfe will be credited as a producer.

"Constance and Beast Mode exist in two radically different worlds, one of cosmetics and crime, and the other of elite boxing, but both pilots are about complicated, empowered women who are incredible forces of nature," said Sarah Aubrey, exec vp originals at TNT. "Their passion and ambition, mixed with a healthy dose of craziness, make them unforgettable characters that our viewers will love."

Beast Mode and Constance mark TNT's latest pilot orders. They join the Margaret Cho vehicle Highland at the Kevin Reilly-led cable network. TNT's scripted roster includes The Alienist, Animal Kingdom, Claws and the upcoming I Am the Night, Snowpiercer and Tell Me Your Secrets.

Constance is the latest TV foray for Team Downey, which will also exec produce a YouTube AI docuseries featuring the actor.

Downey is repped by CAA. Shue is also with CAA.