4:33pm PT by Kate Stanhope, Lesley Goldberg
Maria Bello, 'Lost's' Tania Raymonde Join David E. Kelley's Amazon Legal Drama
David E. Kelley's Amazon legal drama is adding to its impressive cast.
Maria Bello has joined The Trial and Lost alum Tania Raymonde is in talks, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Trial centers on Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton), a once respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded. Billy now spends his days getting drunk, with the occasional case tossed his way by his ex-wife, Julie. However, Billy is reinvigorated professionally when a young lawyer named Lucy Kitteridge (Olivia Thirlby) who has just been fired from his old firm brings him a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm, Donald Cooper (William Hurt).
Bello will play Billy's ex-wife, Julie, a beautiful, brilliant and accomplished co-founding partner of a law firm who is successful professionally, but not personally after losing the love of her life, Billy. Although she would never admit how much that hurt, she holds him in contempt for letting his life fall apart. Julie is betrayed when the head of her firm fires her protégé, Lucy, who then goes to work for her ex-husband on the wrongful death case.
Raymonde will play Brittany Gold, a likeable, smart and savvy working girl who is an old friend of Billy's. After he defended her years ago, she agreed to work as a legal secretary for him in exchange — that is, before the siren song of prostitution sent her in a different direction. Brittany is appalled at Billy's first attempt to write up his paperwork and welcomes Lucy's help to fix things.
Written by Kelley and his Boston Legal/Practice cohort Jonathan Shapiro, the project will be Amazon's first straight-to-series order. The company has traditionally made all pilots available to customers to watch and provide feedback on which ones they want to see turned into series. David Semel (Ally McBeal, Dawson's Creek, American Dreams, Madam Secretary) is rumored to be directing the pilot. Kelley, Shapiro, Ross Fineman (A&E's Damien) will exec produce.
The Trial is a homecoming of sorts for Kelley, who made a name for himself writing legal shows including L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, The Practice and spinoff Boston Legal. Kelley, whose recent credits include CBS' The Crazy Ones and NBC's Harry's Law, is currently not affiliated with any studio. The prolific producer is also working on a new limited series for HBO — an adaptation of the hit novel Big Little Lies starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
This marks the first TV role for Bello since her stint on the Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch. Her other credits include Prisoners, Grown Ups and ER. She is repped by CAA and John Carrabino Management.
Raymonde's credits include Switched at Birth and The Last Ship. She is repped by Artists Partnership and Primary Wave Entertainment.