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June 25, 2015

ABC Family Orders ‘Guilt’ Drama Pilot That Echoes Amanda Knox Story


Nellie Andreeva / Deadline Hollywood

ABC Family has handed out a fourth pilot order in two months to Guilt, a crime thriller from writers/executive producers Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price (The Game Plan) and executive producer Stephen McPherson.

The fictional project draws parallels to the story of Amanda Knox, the American student convicted, acquitted, retried and acquitted again of the gruesome murder of her British roommate. Guilt is described as an edgy, soapy thriller that revolves around an American in London who becomes the prime suspect in the savage murder of her roommate. As the investigation unfolds, the show will question whether she’s a naive, young girl whose poor decisions are being magnified under the ruthless glare of the British tabloids, or whether she’s a sociopath who brutally murdered her friend. Even her own sister, who comes to London to defend her, will question how well she really knows her little sister as more and more ugly truths come out. The mystery will twist through all layers of London society — from a posh, but depraved, sex club all the way up to the Royal Family itself.

“Guilt is a sophisticated, sexy and suspenseful crime epic that will have audiences captivated week-to-week,” said Karey Burke, ABCF’s EVP, Programming and Development, ABC Family.

The project was originally set up at Fox during the 2013-14 season with Lionsgate TV producing through McPherson’s then-first look deal with Fox and Lionsgate. The pilot will now be produced by Sea to Sky Entertainment — the joint venture between Lionsgate Television and Canada’s Thunderbird Films — and BV Family Prods. in association with ABC Family.

ABC Family’s increased pilot output — Guilt joins recently ordered drama pilots Stay and Beyond and comedy Gorgeous Morons — is part of the network’s plan to double its original programming over the next four years.