TNT orders two drama pilots: ‘Constance’ starring Elisabeth Shue and ‘Beast Mode’


Cable channel TNT has ordered two drama pilots, both revolving around strong female characters, Deadline reports.

First, there’s Constance, which will feature Oscar-winner Elisabeth Shue in the title role and be produced by Team Downey. The TNT series will follow Constance Young, a small-town government worker and former beauty queen, whose life is upended after her husband dies suspiciously. To save her family from financial ruin, she embezzles money from the city government while also attempting to make a go of it in direct-sales cosmetics.

The plot, which has shades of the drama Weeds, will be a darkly humorous take on a woman who won’t go down without a fight. The pilot is written by K.C. Perry who most recently wrote for The Originals, and will be directed by Jesse Peretz, an Emmy nominee who’s directed episodes of GLOW and Orange is the New Black. Executive producers on the series will include Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes‘ Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, Bill Dubuque, Tom Lesinski, Jenna Santoianni, Perry, Peretz, and Shue.

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In addition, TNT ordered the tentatively titled Beast Mode, which was inspired by Ann Wolfe, a well-known boxing trainer who will also serve as a producer on the show. The story will focus on a woman who, despite her demons, is smart and assertive. She harbors an uncompromising attitude, which leads to victory in the boxing ring, but difficulties in other parts of her life.

David Schneiderman wrote Beast Mode and will serve as executive producer along with Stefanie Huie, Charles D. King, Kim Roth, and Poppy Hanks. No actors have been attached to the series yet.

Of the two pilots, TNT’s Executive Vice President of original programming, Sarah Aubrey said:

"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. Their passion and ambition, mixed with a healthy dose of craziness, make them unforgettable characters that our viewers will love."

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Both series sound promising, although they are likely to bring in different viewers. Constance will likely attention and interest due to the star power of Elisabeth Shue, who is known to TV audiences for a three-season stint on CSI, and the backing of mega-star Downey. Meanwhile, boxing fans and those familiar with the legacy of Ann Wolfe may be eager to check out Beast Mode

Neither pilot has been ordered to series yet, so it’s possible TNT won’t pick up either show. Out of the pilots TNT ordered last year, two were picked up.

Check back with Show Snob for more news on Constance and Beast Mode.