ABC has ordered drama series Rebel, which is planned to debut in 2021. ABC went straight to series on the project, which is inspired by the life of activist Erin Brockovich.
The premiere episode is written by Krista Vernoff and directed by Tara Nicole Weyr.
Annie “Rebel” Bello is a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree. “She’s a funny, messy, brilliant and fearless woman who cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves,” said ABC. “When Rebel applies herself to a fight she believes in, she will win at almost any cost.”
Katey Sagal will play Rebel. She played Peggy on Married...With Children and Gemma on Sons of Anarchy. John Corbett, James Lesure, Lex Scott Davis, Andy Garcia and Tamala Jones are also in the cast.
“Erin Brockovich has never stopped the extraordinary work she does fighting for her clients like they’re family, and Krista Vernoff’s take on her life today in Rebel is undeniable,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “Katey Sagal is a powerhouse as ‘Rebel’ and with Andy Garcia, John Corbett and the rest of the phenomenal cast, viewers are going to fall in love with these characters and the world Krista has created for them.”
Vernoff is the showrunner on Grey’s Anatomy.
“The work that Erin Brockovich does in this world is so powerful and so important that it almost defies description. Erin works tirelessly for social, legal and environmental justice despite the lack of a formal degree. She inspires everyone she meets to become their own heroes, and somehow, she also keeps us laughing. It has been a tremendous honor to get to know Erin and to create a show inspired by her,” said Vernoff. “I am thrilled to be working with a dream cast led by the extraordinary Katey Sagal with the incredible Tara Nicole Weyr directing. I could not be more excited about the series order for ‘Rebel,’ and I’m so grateful for the support of Dana Walden, Karey Burke, Craig Hunegs, Jonnie Davis and all my partners at Walt Disney Television and ABC.”
Julia Roberts played Brockovich in 2000 film Erin Brockovich. “Rebel is not just my story, it is all of our stories. There is a hero that exists in all of us, and I am so excited for Krista Vernoff and ABC to bring their visionary storytelling to this series,” said Brockovich. “The name ‘Rebel’ oozes self-empowerment, courage and rising above, even in the worst of circumstances. I cannot think of anyone better to play this role than the indomitable Katey Sagal, who is such a force, as well as the rest of this extraordinary cast.”
Rebel is executive produced by Krista Vernoff and Alexandre Schmitt of Trip the Light, Erin Brockovich, John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment and Andrew Stearn. The series is produced by ABC Signature in association with Sony Pictures Television.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.