Kelly Reilly To Topline ABC Series ‘The Black Box’, Simon Curtis To Direct

ABC has cast Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes) as the lead in The Black Box, a 13-episode limited drama series written by The Relic and Mystic Pizza scribe Amy Holden Jones to air next year. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) will direct the project, executive produced by Jones; The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, who serves as showrunner; X-Men director Bryan Singer; 3 Arts’ Oly Obst (The Invention Of Lying); and Anne Thomopoulos (Borgia). The Black Box centers on Elizabeth Black (Reilly), a world-renowned neuroscientist who appears to have it all but is constantly haunted by her own struggle with mental illness. And that is not the only secret she’s kept locked away from her family and her new fiancé. Reilly was the top choice for the role, and after lengthy negotiations, ABC was able to lock in her and Curtis.

The Black Box is produced by independent film finance and production company Bold Films (Legion) in its first foray into TV production, with Sierra Engine handling international distribution. This marks the first international package deal for WME, which reps Jones, Singer and Chaiken. The agency took an old spec written by Jones after it was reverted to her, attached Singer, brought in Bold and Sierra Engine, pre-sold the series internationally and then took it to the U.S. marketplace where it landed at ABC after a bidding war. British actress Reilly is repped by ICM Partners and UK’s Troika; Curtis is with UTA, Anonymous Content and UK’s Independent.

Comments (9)

  • Isn’t this already on TV and called Perspective?

    Comment by Jamesb3 — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 8:12am PDT  
    • No. There is a show called Perception. Which also features a neuroscientist, but is actually a crime drama, not a medical drama. Just to clarify, the website you are currently using is Deadline,not Google, and the latter is probably better suited to your needs.

      Comment by Annie — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 12:08pm PDT  
  • Va-Va-voom

    Comment by tvfan — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 8:46am PDT  
  • So, since this website has the most negative comments section in the world I know I’m going to get blasted and called an idiot for daring to ask this, but since it is visited by industry professionals i thought it would be a good place to ask what’s a limited series? Is that like a 13 episode long miniseries, or does it have the chance to get renewed? Or does nobody really know yet cause none of them have aired?

    Comment by Potato — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 9:09am PDT  
    • Limited series have aired before. Political Animals was considered one due to its abnormally short season.

      Lately, the term has been used incongruously as a synonym for miniseries or worse: just a way to air a TV show with potential for more episodes but then claim was a miniseries all along to save themselves the embarrassment.

      This show is one of them.

      Comment by American — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 11:22pm PDT  
  • What does “limited series” mean in this context? Is it a closed-ended, non-renewable miniseries in 13 parts, or is it a series with a 13 episode order like Under the Dome that might come back for more seasons?

    Comment by Rob — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 9:26am PDT  
  • No need to be snarky Annie. They do sound somewhat similar.

    Comment by Memphis Slim — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 1:57pm PDT  
  • @Potato:You are entitled to ask! :)
    A limited series is a relatively new(ish) term that’s emerged in the past few years, fueled by the expansion of basic cable networks into scripted programming. It sometimes is used interchangeably with miniseries but typically a limited series, unlike the conventional miniseries which is intended to conclude, is planned as a story that could end with the initial order but in success, can continue. USA’s POLITICAL ANIMALS was conceived this way but didn’t pan out beyond the first (and last) season; RECTIFY on Sundance, however, did. CBS’ very successful UNDER THE DOME falls in that category as well. The other aspect is that the # of episodes is “limited “(usually 6-10, 13 is a little long)
    That’s my interpretation, anyway!

    Comment by Ronnie — Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 10:19pm PDT  
  • Kelly rocks!

    Comment by kelly reilly fans — Monday August 5, 2013 @ 9:39pm PDT  
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