Pilot Scoop: Joan Allen Joins ABC Thriller From Scandal/Grey's Vet

Joan Allen Jenna Bans ABC Drama Pilot

A potential ABC drama with a Shondaland pedigree has elected Joan Allen its mayor, TVLine has learned.

The Oscar-nominated actress will play Claire Warren, a crafty politician who uses upheaval in her family to further her career, in an untitled thriller pilot from Jenna Bans (Grey’s AnatomyScandal).

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Formerly known as Flesh and Blood, the potential series centers on a Claire’s son, who rocks his local community by showing up roughly a decade after his presumed death. His reappearance, naturally, has repercussions for the neighbor jailed for his murder and the police officer that handled the case.

Claire’s son reappears just as she is about to announce her candidacy for governor, and though his gobsmacked mother is horrified to learn where he’s been, she’s not above using their family tragedy to help achieve her political aspirations.

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Allen joins a cast that includes Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) as Allen’s other son, Adam, and Liam James (The Way, Way Back).

Allen has received Oscar nods for her work in The Contender, The Crucible and Nixon. Her TV appearances include roles in The Killing, Luck and Off the Map — the latter of which Bans created.

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  1. Joey says:

    Loved her since Pleasantville!

  2. Robert says:

    Joan Allen was never on Ban’s “Off the Map” — she did, however, star in the 2003 feature film also titled “Off the Map”.

  3. Nina Love says:

    She looks very familiar

  4. Harry Caray says:

    Linda Ham!

  5. Babygate says:

    She can play crafty really well but was not a fan of her portrayal in The Killing. In addition, the premise does not seem very solid. More like a meshing of Scandal and HTGAWM. Shondaland is great at coming up with amazing stories right off the bat, the problem is sustaining that momentum with solid story telling. I still love Grey’s but it has made some hugely bad choices in storylines, Scandal is jumping the shark and HTGAWM is still successful but has declined in the ratings significantly through weak writing.