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Elisabeth Shue to Play Corrupt Former Beauty Queen in TNT Pilot Constance

Elisabeth Shue

CSI vet Elisabeth Shue will tackle something even more complicated than forensics in her next role: the world of cosmetics.

TNT on Monday handed a pilot order to Constance, a “darkly humorous, veneer-stripping” drama starring Shue as a woman refusing to fade into obscurity.

The actress will play Constance Young, a former beauty queen-turned-small town bureaucrat whose life is thrown into turmoil after her husband’s mysterious death. Realizing she and her family are on the verge of financial ruin, Constance turns to cooking the books at City Hall, while simultaneously trying to reinvent herself through the hyper-competitive world of direct-sales cosmetics.

The pilot, which counts Robert Downey Jr. among its executive producers, will be written by K.C. Perry (The Originals) and directed by Jesse Peretz (GLOW). And it isn’t TV’s only beauty queen-centric project: Netflix’s Insatiable, which stars Debby Ryan as a bullied teen who becomes a pageant contestant, drops on Friday, Aug. 10, while Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones has signed on to play a ruthless pageant coach in Facebook Watch’s dark comedy Queen America.

TNT has also ordered to pilot Beast Mode, a scripted drama inspired by the life of legendary boxer Ann Wolfe. The potential series tells the story of a feisty, brilliant-yet-damaged woman with a “kill or be killed” mentality. While these qualities make her an excellent trainer, they tend to cause problems in the rest of her life.

Constance and Beast Mode exist in two radically different worlds, one of cosmetics and crime, and the other of elite boxing, but both pilots are about complicated, empowered women who are incredible forces of nature,” said Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT. “Their passion and ambition, mixed with a healthy dose of craziness, make them unforgettable characters that our viewers will love.”

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