Lucy Liu will stay in the CBS family following the end of Elementary in 2019.
The actress and director will star in CBS All Access’ Why Women Kill, a darkly comedic drama from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. The show follows three women from three different eras — a 1960s housewife, a 1980s socialite and a lawyer in 2018 — each dealing with infidelity in their marriages. It will examine how the roles of women have changed, but their reaction to betrayal has not.
Liu will play Simone, an elegant, stylish woman who is the picture of urbane confidence and moves through the world as if it were a delightful movie starring her. Smugly superior, a woman for whom appearances mean everything, she’s seemingly happily married to her indulgent husband, Karl, who thinks she’s simply fabulous. Despite nagging premonitions, Simone is devastated and her world upended when she learns Karl is cheating on her.
CBS All Access ordered Why Women Kill straight to series in September. It is Cherry’s first show since Devious Maids, which ran on Lifetime from 2013-16, and his first for a streaming service. The series also marks a reunion between Cherry and CBS All Access executive vp originals Julie McNamara, who developed Desperate Housewives when she was at ABC.
“Having worked with Marc 15 years ago on Desperate Housewives, it is clear he has captured lightning in a bottle again with the depiction of three women who are so richly drawn that they defy expectations at every turn,” McNamara said in announcing the series order. “Why Women Kill poses powerful cultural questions with Marc’s inimitable, biting wit, and we look forward to taking viewers on this wild ride.”
Cherry will executive produce Why Women Kill with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo of Imagine Television (the show is the first under a co-financing partnership between Imagine and CBS Television Studios). Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis of Acme Productions will also exec produce, along with director Marc Webb.
Liu has played Joan Watson on CBS’ Elementary for six seasons; the show’s upcoming seventh season, slated for later this year, will be its last. She also has directed several episodes, along with installments of Luke Cage and USA’s Graceland. Liu is repped by Framework Entertainment, Untitled Entertainment, ICM Partners and Schreck Rose.
Why Women Kill doesn’t yet have a premiere date. It will join a slate of CBS All Access originals that includes The Good Fight; Star Trek: Discovery and a number of related shows; Tell Me a Story; No Activity; the upcoming Twilight Zone reboot from Jordan Peele; an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand; and the time-spanning drama Interrogation.