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Accused - What We Know So Far

A trial tells only part of the story in Fox's "Accused." The anthology series shows a new story each week — all starting at the judicial moment of truth. From there, viewers get to experience what brought the defendant to this point. While the format might be an anomaly for the network, its taken-from-topical-issues-and-recent-headlines approach harkens back to other procedurals.

"Accused" hails from Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa, and David Shore; Gordon and Gansa come off the success of the Emmy-winning creation "Homeland." The duo, along with Shore, also has previous experience with Fox. Shore created "House," while Gansa and Gordon were executive producers on "24." Fox execs welcomed the creative team's return to their network. " ... working together on this rich and compelling source material promises something truly special," President of entertainment at Fox Entertainment, Michael Thorn, told The Wrap.

The series features another connection to "Homeland" through director Michael Cuesta. It's been a long road for "Accused" to reach American TV, having originated on British television. Everything adds up to an extended development period and a longer wait for viewers. Here's what we know about the upcoming series "Accused" so far.

What is Accused's release date?

There is no firm release date set for "Accused" as of October 2022 — though it is currently aiming for a January 2023 premiere (via Deadline). While there is no definitive information about scheduling, filming is already underway. This marks a significant step for a project whose creators were given extra time to grow its narrative structure (via The Wrap).

The initial straight-to-series order came in the spring of 2021 (via Variety). The timing between an order announcement and the network's yearly upfront presentation was hard to dismiss. While it was not a part of the 2021 to 2022 schedule, having those names already on board became an added selling point and a glimpse at what was to come in future seasons. With a pandemic still in full force, there was an abundance of caution for creative teams; it was yet another factor in the extended development period.

Taking time to craft the drama seems to have paid off with the extensive list of added acting talents. It's an ensemble that features familiar faces from across the entertainment industry.

Who stars in Accused?

The anthology series format means more roles and an abundance of casting announcements. Michael Chiklis — previously known for his work on "The Shield" — stars in the first episode. His role is that of Dr. Scott Corbett — a surgeon who appears to have a perfect life, but what hides beneath could shatter a whole community. In a nod to current events, a possible school attack plays into the narrative (via Variety).

Subsequent episodes include Margo Martindale leading a conspiracy theory-centric storyline; she's joined by "House of Cards" actress Molly Parker, per Deadline. Another installment, about a family in crisis, features Rachel Bilson and Jack Davenport; their venture into the world of anthology television also includes Reid Miller and August Maturo. Keeping the family theme running is Ian Anthony Dale's episode; the "Hawaii Five-0" cast member continues the close-to-home narrative with an episode revolving around a sibling who tries to do what's best for an injured family member.

J. Harrison Ghee stars in one of the most anticipated episodes of the first season. The synopsis describes the episode as "a drag queen's affair and its aftermath." Ghee is a noted Broadway performer, appearing in "Kinky Boots." He also toured internationally with the show. Ghee's episode also introduces a series of familiar performers as new directors (via BroadwayWorld).

Who is directing Accused?

"Accused" is on course to give famous performers a new title: director. Billy Porter is set to direct the J. Harrison Ghee episode. The Emmy winner is scattering a directorial debut across several projects, including the films "Anything's Possible" and "To Be Real" (via Playbill).

Porter is not alone in experiencing a career-changing moment. Marlee Matlin is set to direct an installment focusing on a deaf woman who does something called "a crime of advocacy and protection." It represents a monumental moment for the "Coda" actress. " ... having the opportunity to be one of the first female, deaf directors in television is [a challenge] I am looking forward to," Matlin told The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to directorial newcomers, the series harkens back to the success of "Homeland" with director Michael Cuesta. The director is helming the series premiere episode starring Michael Chiklis. For Cuesta, this represents another anticipated pilot; his credits before "Accused" count premiere episodes of "Dexter" and "Blue Bloods" (via Deadline). His work with Gordon and Gansa's Showtime creation "Homeland" spanned over nine episodes. 

What is the plot of Accused?

The underlying narrative of "Accused" centers around a specific trial's defendant(s). Over the course of an episode, viewers are taken back to the motives and hidden moments that brought them to this pivotal point. An anthology format means each week, a new story is told; each episode also keeps the accused's crime under wraps until the audience can experience the events leading up to it.

"Accused" adapts the BBC crime series for an American network. The series is keeping with the same details, though changing aspects such as those related to different judicial systems. The BBC version ran for just two seasons, premiering in 2010 (via BBC).

While it might sound like a lot of other shows already out there, creators Gordon and Gansa want viewers to see it differently. The pair told Deadline it was "definitely not a procedural." They also spoke about what makes this series and its characters so compelling: "There's nothing more pressure-filled and character-defining than someone who commits a crime."