Is 'Notorious' Based On A True Story? The ABC Drama Has Real Life Roots
Thursday nights on ABC may be missing Scandal (for now), but they are gaining Notorious. The brand new drama, however, promises to deliver plenty of its own scandalous stories of its own in the intersection of the law and the media. While the show will feature fictional headlines, is Notorious based on a true story? According to Deadline, the show is inspired by the real-life stories from criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and Larry King Live producer Wendy Walker, who are executive producers on the series.
Just in case you were wondering: Notorious has nothing to do with the 2009 movie of the same name nor legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. The ABC show follows the professional partnership between defense attorney Jake Gregorian (played by Daniel Sunjata) and cable news producer Julia George (Piper Perabo) — they work together to give his clients the biggest headlines, engage the public, and manipulate the justice system. According to The Wrap, this friendship is based on the actual relationship between Walker and Geragos.
"In real life, they have a complicated and wonderful relationship," Notorious executive producer Josh Berman told the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal regarding Geragos and Walker. "I want to capture their relationship in the show. They are in the writing room and on the set. They give me the behinds the scenes true stories that I couldn’t make up. I love them. They love each other. It’s basically a love fest."
On Notorious, Julia George is the exec producer of the news show-within-a-show Louise Herrick Live, which sounds a lot like that old CNN staple Larry King Live, but the fictional one will be hosted by anchor Louise Herrick (Kate Jennings Grant). Perabo told The Wrap that she was dedicated to keeping the show realistic as possible when it came to journalism and even spent some time shadowing real journalists at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. "These are really smart people who are really well-versed in politics and world news that can work as an incredible team," she told the site. "They had such little time to assemble such a huge amount of knowledge and get it to their anchors."
Perabo also noted in an interview with People that the pilot was shot at CNN in Atlanta as well and she did a lot of research on and with Walker. "Wendy wrote a book about her life at CNN, so I read the book and then I did a series of interviews with her kind of digging into the meat and the sort of emotional underpinnings of those experiences," she told the magazine. "And also trying to find out more about her as a person and sort of why she made the decisions that she did when she was working with Larry King."
So while the inspiration behind the Notorious' main characters and stories are rooted in real life, the rest is fictional — and just good drama for TV.
Images: Eli Joshua Ade (2)/ABC