Disney’s Onyx Collective has greenlit its first scripted series to stream on Hulu with legal series Reasonable Doubt. Emayatzy Corinealdi is set to star in the lead role of the legal drama that comes from writer/executive producer Raamla Mohamed, executive producer Kerry Washington, and ABC Signature.
Reasonable Doubt centers on Jax Stewart (Corinealdi), a lawyer with questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law — who’s also the most brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles and bucks the justice system every chance she gets.
Washington will direct the first episode of the series. She will also executive produce with her Simpson Street partner Pilar Savone and Larry Wilmore via Wilmore Films.
“Simpson Street was founded with the belief that we are each the lead character in the story of our lives regardless of who we are, where we are born, what we believe or who we love,” Washington said. “Each of us deserves to be and to see ourselves at the center of the narrative. It’s a privilege to partner with Onyx, a brand dedicated to centering creators of color and underrepresented voices, on their first scripted drama series. I am excited to be working with the great Larry Wilmore and to be once again collaborating with the brilliant Raamla Mohamed, who will lead an all-Black writers room on a series led by the phenomenal Emayatzy Corinealdi. This is a proud moment for all of us at Simpson Street and we could not ask for better partners all around.”
This is the latest collaboration between Mohamed and Washington following Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere, both starring Washington. Mohamed was most recently a writer on the Hulu/ABC Signature limited series Little Fires Everywhere, which Washington executive produced via Simpson Street.
Raamla Mohamed is writing and executive producing the series, which features an all-Black writing staff. Attorney Shawn Holley is a co-executive producer as is Jon Leshay. ABC Signature will produce. Simpson Street and Mohamed are currently under overall deals with the studio.
“I am beyond thrilled that my first television show will be part of the Onyx Collective. As a 2012 alum of the ABC/Disney Writer’s Program, I’ve been in the Disney family for a minute now and it has always been my dream to be able to create the kind of series based on people that look like me and made by people who look like me,” said Mohamed. “I am grateful to Tara Duncan, Shawn Holley, Simpson Street, Wilmore Films and ABC Signature for believing in this project from the beginning and trusting it in my hands. And I’m especially excited to be working with Kerry as a director on what is our third project together. As the kids say, I love this for us.”
Onyx Collective is Disney’s recently launched brand, dedicated to releasing work from creators of color and underrepresented voices, led by Tara Duncan, that will be presented as a content brand on Hulu. Reasonable Doubt was put on a script-to-series development track by Hulu in July with the opening of a writers room, consisting of an all-Black staff led by Mohamed. The project was originally set up at ABC during the 2019-20 development season, and Mohamed reworked her original script for streaming as Reasonable Doubt was taken on by Onyx Collective.
“It’s hard to imagine a more ideal creative partnership for our first Onyx Collective scripted series,” said Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective. “Raamla and Kerry came to us with their passion project and a strong vision for a dynamic series that will surely get an audience talking. And to cast Emayatzy, who embodies the complexities of the lead character beautifully, was a huge get. We’re excited to bring this series to life.”
Corinealdi broke out with her role in the Ava DuVernay feature “Middle of Nowhere.” She has since starred in features such as “Miles Ahead” with Don Cheadle and in Karyn Kusama’s “The Invitation.” Her TV credits include “The Red Line,” “Ballers,” “Roots,” and “Hand of God.”