The latest project from Desperate Housewives producer Marc Cherry has wings. Hallelujah added its latest cast member in Arielle Kebbel, known for her role on The Vampire Diaries and Gilmore Girls.
Set in Hallelujah, Tennessee, the series follows a mysterious stranger (who may or may not have a white horse) who comes to the town bringing much-needed justice and peace to the small troubled community. The ABC pilot already has Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order's Detective Green) and Frances O'Connor (Cashmere Mafia).
Kebbel has stuck to teen and 20-something roles for the most part. Recurring roles on Gilmore Girls and Grounded For Life put her on the map in 2004, after which she took parts in The Grudge 2 and John Tucker Must Die. Since then she's been specializing in creatures of the night, starring in The Uninvited and taking small parts in True Blood, quadruple Razzie nominee Vampires Suck, and a recurring role on The Vampire Diaries.
Kebbel will step out of her comfort zone for Hallelujah, which sounds like a cross between 7th Heaven and FX's western, Justified. Her character's name is Veda Roman, and considering that she's only the third actor cast in the show, she'll likely be getting more screen time than any of her previous roles.
The project is still in the pilot phase, but considering Cherry's clout with ABC after the smash-hit Desperate Housewives, he shouldn't have any problem securing at least one season of this new series - after seven years even the most desperate of housewives will be looking for something new to watch.
That begs the question: what is Hallelujah, anyway? The synopsis paints it as a love-letter to small-town conservatives as much as Housewives is a meditation on suburban decadence. For example, producers are quick to highlight a gospel choir soundtrack that will permeate the series.
However, the show's conflict will also be action-oriented, centered around Martin's hero character in the vein of pretty much every broadcast network action series since the 1960s. It seems like Hallelujah is trying to have its cake and eat it too, securing female viewers with emotional and spiritual themes and males with trigger-happy good versus evil action. Can ABC pull it off? We'll just have to wait until the premiere to see.
Expect news on whether or not Hallelujah gets picked up for a full season this May.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter