ABC has ordered a drama pilot about a group of therapists in Philadelphia from This Is Us writer-director Kay Oyegun.
The untitled hourlong project comes from 20th Television and is written and exec produced by Oyegun, who has worked on the hit NBC drama since 2016 and has directed episodes including “Birth Mother” and “One Giant Leap.”
The pilot follows five therapists in Philadelphia, who find unique ways to solve problems in their patients’ lives while grappling with their own. Ellen Roman, the owner of the practice and a brilliant therapist, has her life shockingly turned upside down when she begins working with a sociopathic patient who may hold the key to the disappearance of her sister five years earlier.
The pilot orders sees University of Pittsburgh graduate Oyegun staying in Pennsylvania, moving from Pittsburgh, where a major part of This Is Us is set, to Philadelphia. “Kay is one of six writers who’s been with the show since the very beginning. Her imprint on the show goes far beyond the Pittsburgh of it all, though she certainly helped with it.” This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman said during the show’s TCA panel Friday.
Sendhil Ramamurthy, Johnny Simmons, Rachel Hilson, Demitrius Grosse and Rahnuma Panthaky join the cast.
Ramamurthy will play Amit, a big-hearted and well-respected relationship therapist. Amit and his wife Sonali are known for their very successful Dara Method for helping rescue marriages. Amit can read his wife just by sitting next to her and believes that they are perfectly in sync with each other both in and out of the office.
Simmons plays Clay, a charming and confident (perhaps overly-so) military veteran and therapist. He has the quick, agile humor to be Ellen’s favorite verbal sparring partner and is the kind of guy you want hate a little but just can’t. Much of Clay’s charm and bluster is a shield under which he hides the wounds and demons he struggles to keep at bay.
Hilson plays Naomi Josef, a smart and fresh-faced, smart and enthusiastic idealist who leads with her heart and radiates warmth. She joins the practice as a recent graduate. Naomi worships Ellen and has deeply-held religious beliefs, which she uses to guide her as she tries to navigate her way into the real world.
Demitrius Grosse plays detective Theodore Ghanem, who is described as “blue-collar Chicago handsome,” cocky and rough around the edges. Once you get to know him, he’s a good guy with solid principles, but he definitely isn’t opposed to bending the law when it’s necessary.
Panthaky plays Sonali, an intuitive and impeccably put-together relationship therapist. Though she and Amit seem like a perfect couple, she has some unvoiced concerns about their marriage.