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Guilty Party - What We Know So Far

These days, there's no shortage of content for discerning TV viewers at any time of the year. Thanks to the ever-increasing number of streaming services, audiences are almost guaranteed to have either new or returning shows to watch every week. However, fall schedules remain a prime time to roll out a highly-anticipated series, and when it comes to the fall lineup for Paramount+, one of the most buzzed about new shows is "Guilty Party."

"Guilty Party" has encountered a bumpy road on its way to the screen, though for understandable reasons. In March 2020, when Deadline revealed details of the show's plot — a black comedy which deals with a journalist trying to exonerate a woman accused of killing her husband — the lead role was originally intended to be played by Isla Fisher, who was also the show's producer. Production got railroaded by the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, leading to Fisher bowing out and Kate Beckinsale taking her place (as reported by Deadline), but since then, everything has come together. Julie McNamara, executive vice president and head of programming for CBS All Access, stated, "We are thrilled to add 'Guilty Party' to our growing comedy slate which includes 'Why Women Kill,' 'No Activity and the upcoming animated 'Star Trek: Lower Decks.' (via Variety).

Here's everything we know about the series, including when viewers can finally catch the premiere.

What is the release date for Guilty Party?

"Guilty Party" is written by Rebecca Addelman, whose other credits include Netflix's "Dead to Me" and "New Girl." Trent O'Donnell ("No Activity," "Saved by the Bell," "Single Parents") is directing. Addelman serves as an executive producer. Sam Hansen, Jimmy Miller, and Funny Or Die's Joe Farrell ("American Vandal"), Jim Ziegler ("Carpool Karaoke"), and Mike Farah ("Between Two Ferns") will also executive produce, with Becca Kinskey co-producing ("I Love You, America."), according to Variety

It's possible that "Guilty Party" may have arrived on screens earlier, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, but between the loss of the show's star — as previously mentioned, Deadline reported that "Wedding Crashers" and "Now You See Me" star Isla Fisher was originally set to star and produce "Guilty Party," before backing out of both roles due to pandemic-related concerns — and other hiccups of that sort, it's now set for a fall 2021 debut, after filming commenced in Calgary, Canada earlier this year.

When in the fall, though? According to Decider, the first two episodes of "Guilty Party" will premiere on Paramount+ on October 14, with the subsequent eight episodes of the show's first season airing on Thursdays.

Who is in the cast of Guilty Party?

In December 2020, Kate Beckinsale was tapped to replace Isla Fisher to play the lead character of "Guilty Party," lawyer Beth Baker (via Variety). The British actress is probably best known for her role as Selene in the "Underworld" franchise, though her other film credits include "Vacancy," "The Aviator," "Click," and the 2012 remake of "Total Recall." Beckinsale recently starred as Georgia Wells in the TV series "The Widow," which aired on British ITV and Amazon Prime Video. 

In March, Deadline reported six additional actors had joined the cast. Geoff Stults ("Little Fires Everywhere") plays Beth's husband Marco, Jules Latimer plays Toni, Tiya Sircar ("The Good Place") plays Fiona, Alanna Ubach ("Filthy Rich") plays Tessa, Laurie Davidson ("Cats") plays George, and Andre Hyland ("Search Party") plays Wyatt. 

Rounding out the ensemble are Madeleine Arthur ("Snowpiercer") as Amber, Marnie Madden ("Heartland") as B. Jackson, Wesley MacInnes ("Power Rangers") as Pierre, Olunike Adeliyi ("Workin' Moms") as Yvette, Helen Hayden ("Mrs. America") as Donna, and Brittany Adebumola ("Grand Army") as Chevonne.

What is the plot of Guilty Party?

The plot of "Guilty Party" reads more like a drama than a dark comedy. Kate Beckinsale's Beth Baker is a discredited journalist who aims to repair her reputation by writing about a mother named Toni Plimpton (Jules Latimer), an imprisoned woman who claims to be wrongfully accused of killing her husband. The plot twists only begin there, though, as according to the official Paramount+ logline (per Deadline), "Beth also finds herself in over her head as she faces Colorado gun-smugglers, clickbait culture, the doldrums of marriage, and her own tarnished past."

The series will evidently focus on the relationship that forms between Toni and Beth. Also, according to the same Deadline report, a TCA panel "Guilty Party" revealed that the series will explore the "white savior" trope.

According to series creator Rebecca Addelman, "It was very intentional decision making on the show's part to go at the idea of white savior-ism and to present what may seem like stereotypes initially and take those stereotypes and develop very real and very dimensional characters that evolve to truly unexpected boundary-breaking places. And that the relationship between Toni and Beth goes to a very emotional and deep unexpected place."