12:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Suits' Star Gina Torres to Topline ABC Drama 'Death of Eva Sofia Valdez'
Suits star Gina Torres is headed for ABC.
The actress has signed on to star in ABC drama pilot The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The ABC pilot is in second position to USA Network's Suits, which has already been renewed for a sixth season later this year.
The soapy drama centers on Eva Sofia Valdez (Torres), an immigrant who rose from rags to riches and is a celebrated Miami entrepreneur and a champion for immigrant rights. But her success is fueled by an insatiable ambition that could destroy her family, a vendetta against the lover who betrayed her, and ghosts from the past who threaten to reveal the dark sacrifices Eva Sofia made to attain the American dream. The drama is described as Macbeth with a Cuban twist.
Torres' Eva is further described as a strong-willed Cuban lioness who came to the U.S. with the clothes on her back, and has since built a mini-empire of beauty salons, cafes and even a successful law firm. "A modern-day Havana-born Cleopatra" who rules her businesses — and her two adult sons — with an iron hand, Eva Sofia is hurt and humiliated when a local Miami blue blood, the man who loved then abandoned her years ago, publicly spurns her. Intent on vengeance, Eva Sofia is offered help from three mysterious women of supernatural origin who exploit her outrage to their own ends. But once in their power, Eva Sofia may find it hard to resist their evil — and ultimately deadly — influence.
For Torres, Eva Sofia is in addition to USA Network's Suits, which just wrapped its fifth season and has already been renewed for a sixth. She is confirmed to return to the Aaron Korsh-created drama as a series regular in season six. Season five effectively was a reset for Suits, in which the show's central firm was pretty much dismantled by the end of the run. Season six will pick up where the drama left off — meaning Torres' Jessica could appear in the first episode and leave should the character choose to start over elsewhere, though Torres' ABC role is in second position to Suits.
Charise Castro Smith (Devious Maids) will pen the script and exec produce the ABC Studios drama alongside Agent Carter showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. (Also worth noting is that second-year Marvel drama Agent Carter remains on the bubble and was not among the 15 series renewed at ABC on Thursday.)
Raul Castillo, Marta Milans, Zabryna Guevara, Alison Fernandez, Christian Ochoa and Christina Pickles co-star in Eva Sofia, which will film in Myrtle Beach.
Torres (Firefly, Huge) is repped by Domain, Framework Entertainment and Schreck Rose.
Keep up with all the latest pickups, castings and eventual series orders with THR's handy guide to pilot season.