Earlier today, ABC announced its midseason 2017 premieres and, to the surprise of many, the much-anticipated post-“Romeo & Juliet” TV series from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland shingle, titled “Still Star-Crossed,” which stars British actress Lashana Lynch, wasn’t included on the schedule. It was expected to premiere this season, but it looks like that’s not going to happen after all, and its eventual debut date still isn’t set at the network at this time.
Speaking to Deadline at the TCA (Television Critics Association) earlier today, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey had this to say about the ambitious period drama: “It has taken us a little longer than we thought it would’ve taken us… I’ve seen the first three episodes, and the fourth one is coming my way soon. It has all of the great hallmarks of a Shondaland project, but it also is very epic in terns of its scope and scale, and we did not want to rush it into a place where we felt like it wasn’t ready.”
And as for when she thinks it’ll eventually premiere, Dungey said: “We are talking about summer; there is also a possibility that it becomes something for fall… It’s a bit TBD [to be determined].”
So those who are anticipating the new series shouldn’t expect it anytime soon; at best, it’ll premiere in the summer, but it just doesn’t feel like a summer series based on the trailers we’ve seen (below) thus far, and all we know about the show. Given how *epic* it is, I’d assume expectations are high, and ABC would want to introduce it when it’ll likely be most-watched. Summer series, in general, don’t attract the same volume of interest (it’s the summer after all) as those that debut during the typical prime fall and winter months. So I’d say don’t expect “Still Star-Crossed” until next TV season, the 2017/2018.
Written by Heather Mitchell, and based on the book by Melinda Taub, the “Romeo & Juliet” sequel is titled “Still Star-Crossed” (although its title could change) and is set in 16th century Verona, picking up where Shakespeare’s original work ended. It chronicles the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.
The story centers on Rosaline (Lynch), described as a beautiful, intelligent and headstrong Capulet and Juliet’s cousin. Following the death of her parents, Rosaline is taken in by her aunt and uncle, Juliet’s parents Lady and Lord Capulet, and forced to work as a servant. She does her best to tolerate her aunt’s cruelty, and focuses on finding a way to free herself of the humiliation. She is eventually ordered to marry Benvolio (male lead Wade Briggs), a Montague.
The diverse cast also includes (in terms of actors of African descent) Sterling Sulieman, Lucien Laviscount, and Ebonee Noel.
Lashana Lynch, who got her break in the 2012 Noel Clarke feature film “Fast Girls,” also played the tile character in “Educating Rita” on stage in the UK, for which she received much acclaim.
“Still Star-Crossed” will mark Lynch’s American TV premiere.
Watch the most recent trailer for the upcoming series embedded below: