‘Doubt’ interview: Katherine Heigl, EP Tony Phelan set the stage for CBS legal drama

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On Wednesday, February 15 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, CBS is going to be premiering “Doubt,” a new series that is about taking on tremendous challenges in the legal system — while also tying to figure out just how much investment is too much when it comes to some cases.

Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “State of Affairs”) stars in the series as Sadie Ellis, a very impressive attorney at a small firm who is exceptional in her ability to protect her clients. However, the case of one Billy Brennan challenges her in ways that few others have. He is accused of killing his girlfriend more than 20 years ago, and nothing about him suggests that he could be a killer. He’s a pediatric surgeon, and so much of his reputation is based on him doing good. Sadie eventually develops feelings for him that potentially complicate everything, from her personal life to the case as a whole. The trailer below gives you a further sense of the story, as well as appearances from fellow cast members Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) and Dule Hill (“Psych”) — who are certainly reasons to watch in their own right.

Earlier today in a conference call with reporters, Heigl explained to us just how much evolution we can expect for Sadie as the season goes on, whether it be as the result of the Brennan case or some other changing factors in her life — such as a difficult situation involving her mother:

“Sadie goes on quite a journey this season. It’s really satisfying as an actor to be able to play all of these different moments. She’s dealing with not only her mother’s upcoming parole hearing, but she’s falling in love with her client, which is obviously not kosher. There’s a lot that she is emotionally dealing with, and is still trying to maintain a level of professionalism and trying to do the job well and trying to win.

“By the end of the season — it’s so good that it’s hard for me not to mess up — by that point, everything culminates, and [there’s this one] amazing moment. I’m just really excited to see what [could] happen for her next season, how she could deal with the outcome of all of it.”

Are there already plans for a second season? Executive producer Tony Phelan made it clear that there are ideas bouncing around in his head:

“It’s fun, because the structure of this show is to have a procedural that also has personal elements in it. The great thing about a law show like this is that everyday, in the news, online, or just from talking to different lawyers, there are hundreds of possible stories of cases that could walk in the door. Coupled with that is the great advantage that we have with this tremendous cast — you can write anything for any of them. We, [fellow executive producer Joan Rater] and I, started to get very excited as the season went on, knowing that each time we set up an acting challenge for someone in the cast, they just hit it out of the park.

We are continuing to knock around what we could do in season 2. We leave season 1 on a great cliffhanger, and the ability to deliver that to the audience and move on from that cliffhanger and see where everybody’s lives are going to go beyond episode 13 would be fantastic. We hope that the audience is going to be as invested in the people and the work that they do as we are.”

As mentioned, the series will premiere on February 15 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Are you planning to watch? Let us know in the comments! (Photo: CBS.)


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