Kate Beckinsale to play lead in Calgary-shot CBS series, Guilty Party; Paramount also greenlights Alberta-shot series based on Joe Pickett books

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Beckinsale has starred in films such as 1996’s Emma, 2003’s Underworld and 2004’s Van Helsing and played Ava Gardner in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator. She will play a journalist in Guilty Party, which is being written by Ottawa-born expat Rebecca Addelman.

According to Deadline, the series will focus on Beckinsale’s Beth Baker, “a discredited journalist desperate to salvage her career by latching on to the story of a young mother sentenced to life in prison for maiming and murdering her husband — crimes she claims she didn’t commit. In trying to uncover the truth, Beth finds herself in over her head as she contends with Colorado gun smugglers, clickbait culture, the doldrums of marriage and her own tarnished past.”

When the series was announced in March, Addelman described it as “a genre-bending show that tackles contemporary issues – the prison system, the death of print journalism and pervasive gun culture, to name a few – but has, at its core, smart, funny, ambitious and deeply complicated female characters.”

According to ACTRA Alberta’s website, Guilty Party is scheduled to begin production on Feb. 22 and run until the end of May.

Less is known about the Joe Pickett series. Calgary producer Linda Ambury confirmed on Monday that she is working on the show but referred specific questions about the series to representatives from Paramount, who did not respond to Postmedia as of press time.

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