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Sam Esmail ABC Pilot ‘Acts of Crime’ Casts Candace Grace in Lead Role, Adds Three Other Regulars

Courtesy of Luke Fontana/Kyle Nadler/Peter Mark Kendall/Molly Price

Sam’s Esmail ABC drama pilot “Acts of Crime” has found its lead.

Newcomer Candace Grace has been cast in the lead role in the pilot, with Josiah Cross, Peter Mark Kendall, and Molly Price also joining in series regular roles.

Little is known about the plot of the show, other than being described as a unique spin on the crime procedural. Grace will star as Vivien Lamonte, a Black police detective working homicide in suburban New Jersey. Her early years were spent on the wrong side of the law, but she turned it around to join law enforcement.

“Acts of Crime” will mark Grace’s first major onscreen role. The New Orleans native graduated from Rutgers University with a MFA acting degree in 2020. She is repped by ICM, ATA Management, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Cross will play Khalid Coffy, an aspiring comic book artist. Khalid is a troubled teen who gets mixed up in a murder. Cross will make his feature debut opposite Will Smith in “King Richard” later this year. “Acts of Crime” will be his first television credit. He is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Stride Management. Kendall will play Todd, a spry rookie detective who went to law school but decided that he wanted to “catch the bad guys” instead of prosecuting them. An accomplished theater actor, Kendall’s past TV credits include “The Americans,” “Strange Angel,” “Girls,” “Chicao Med,” and “Blue Bloods.” He will also appear in the upcoming feature “Top Gun: Maverick” alongside Tom Cruise. He is repped by Gersh, AC Management and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

Price will appear as Captain Gunn. After weathering a long career in law enforcement, Gunn has climbed up in the ranks to become the Captain of the police department. Price previously starred as Faith Yokas in the series “Third Watch” at NBC. Her recent TV credits include “American Crime Story: Versace,” “Feud: Bette and Joan,” “Bloodline,” “The Path,” and “The Knock.” She is repped by Gersh and Abrams Entertainment.

Esmail will write, direct, and executive produce “Acts of Crime” via Esmail Corp. Chad Hamilton of Esmail Corp. will also executive produce. UCP, where Esmail is currently under an overall deal, will produce along with ABC Signature.

Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.


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