ABC's "Still Star-Crossed" - Wade Briggs as Benvolio, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline & Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus (ABC/Ed Herrera)
When ABC announced its mid-season 2017 premieres earlier this year (January), to the surprise and disappointment of many, the much-anticipated post-"Romeo & Juliet" TV series from Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland, titled "Still Star-Crossed," which stars British actress Lashana Lynch, wasn't included on the schedule. It was expected to premiere this current season, but it appeared that the network would push it back even further with a premiere date announcement to eventually be made.
Speaking at the TCA (Television Critics Association) in January, 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 terms 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 thought it would 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].”
Fans can relax now as ABC announced its summer 2017 schedule earlier this month, with a number of new scripted, reality competition, and game shows included in the lineup. And one of the scripted series is of course “Still Star-Crossed,” which will premiere on Monday, May 29, airing from 10:01-11:00 p.m. Now you know. Mark your calendars.
Written by Heather Mitchell, and based on the book by Melinda Taub, the "Romeo & Juliet" sequel is titled "Still Star-Crossed"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 (Lashana 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) Lucien Laviscount, Sterling Sulieman, 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.
Prepping for the new series' May 29 premiere, ABC has released a new promo which is embedded below: