Lights, Camera, Action!
Rancho Santa Fe’s Wendy Walker knows a story when she sees it. But then, she produced more than 7,000 shows during her 32-year career with CNN as executive producer of Larry King Live, and prior to that, with ABC. (She started as a secretary on the same day as longtime pal Katie Couric.) Now, Walker’s own story is heading for the TV screen.
ABC has bought Notorious, a pilot inspired by Walker’s relationship with criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, who has defended Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, and Chris Brown, among others. The project, from Sony Pictures TV and The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz, is billed as “a provocative look at the interplay of criminal law and the media.” In other words, it might make for good TV.
It was Walker who came up with the concept, having seen firsthand “the role the press plays when a crime becomes a high profile case.” She ran the idea by Geragos, with whom she had dealt for years on such cases, and had become friends. “He’s a flamboyant, arrogant, brilliant attorney who plays the press like a violin,” says Walker. Geragos loved the concept, too. The pair brought others on their team and began pitching the networks. This past January, ABC greenlighted the pilot (co-written by Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman and blogger Allie Hagan), which is now being shot in Atlanta.
“She reminds me of me,” says Walker of Piper Perabo, the Covert Affairs actress cast to play a high-powered television producer opposite Graceland’s Daniel Sunjata as the charismatic defense attorney. “She looks very good in the control room. She looks like a producer. And I think she’s a terrific actress. I couldn’t be happier with the choice.” If ABC likes the pilot, Notorious could begin airing this fall. Stay tuned. Andrea Naversen