Check out the first look at Onyx Collective’s Reasonable Doubt, a new legal drama series led by Emayatzy Corinealdi. The series will premiere Tuesday, September 27, on Hulu. The series also stars Michael Ealy, Thadeus J. Mixson, Tim Jo, McKinley Freeman, Angela Grovey, and newcomer Aderinsola Olabode as series regular. Pauletta Washington and Sean Patrick Thomas in a recurring capacity.
The series 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.
Ealy will play Damon. Giving OG prison bae vibes, Damon isn’t someone you should look at too long unless you are trying to get into trouble. Complex, smart, troubled, Damon is a former client of Jax’s who’s been in prison for sixteen years for a murder he didn’t commit.
Freeman will appear as Lewis, said to be the man your mama meets once and asks about forever. Lewis is Jax’s husband, the father of their two children, a successful video game designer and a genuinely good guy. Lewis understands that he’s married to a complicated woman and the two of them share a good-humored, strongly bonded connection, though at times he craves something deeper which she doesn’t seem emotionally capable of giving.
Jo has been cast in the role of Daniel. Described as your dorky next door neighbor who grew up to be hot but couldn’t shake being a dork, Daniel is an investigator at Jax’s law firm. He makes his living talking to people, and yet he’s afraid to ask Jax’s prickly assistant for parking validation.
Mixson will portray Spenser. A full-on teenager, complete with lots of eye rolling and attitude, Spenser is the son of Jax and Lewis. Spenser makes it clear that he prefers to spend time with his dad (a video game designer) instead of his mom.
Olabode will play sweet, loving, Naima, the daughter of Jax and Lewis. Naima hasn’t hit the teenage years yet (unlike her 13-year-old brother, Spenser) and she’s still an obedient, loving child to both her parents.
Washington recurs as Mama Lu. Mama Lu keeps it real about everyone and everything (unless it’s about her own mistakes). Jax’s mother, Mama Lu is opinionated and a little overbearing. She loves Jax and she also loves Jax’s husband, Lewis. She makes it clear she thinks that Jax should work less and spend more time with her husband.
Thomas is Brayden Mitchell. Rich, sexy, stylish, entitled, and savvy, but don’t let that fool you: underneath that is a brother from Southeast D.C. whose bite is actually worse than his bark. Brayden comes in as a client at Jax’s firm and immediately rubs her the wrong way.
Raamla Mohamed created the series which has an all-Black writers room. Mohamed also executive produces alongside Kerry Washington and Pilar Savone for Simpson Street and Larry Wilmore via Wilmore Films. Washington also directs the first episode. The series is the first scripted drama from Onyx Collective and is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios.
Reasonable Doubt is the first scripted series to come from the Onyx Collective, which is Disney’s recently launched brand, dedicated to releasing work from creators of color and underrepresented voices. Led by Tara Duncan, Onyx Collective 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.”