The Family – A New And Upcoming Political Drama For ABC

The Family is an upcoming (as of 2015) US based political drama starring Joan Allen. Produced by ABC Studios, the Mandeville Television company and The Minnesota Logging Company, the show centres around the character of Claire Warren, who is running for governor of the fictional Red Pines city in California.

Plot and Premise

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Claire Warren, played by Joan Allen, is a ruthlessly driven woman who is campaigning for the role of Governor of Red Pines City, a fictional place in the state of California. The story centres on her son, Adam, who is believed to have been dead for over ten years after disappearing, and his “return from the dead” during Claire Warren’s campaign.


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Joan Allen plays Claire Warren. She is the matriarch of the Warren family, as well as being a ruthless and ambition-based villain who is trying to run for Governor of the city of Red Pines in California. During her campaign, her son, who has been missing for twelve years, returns. Joan allen is famous for roles in broadway, television and on the big screen. In fact, she has been nominated for an Academy award on three occasions; firstly she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and then for Best Actress for The Contender (2000). She has also been in diverse, successful films from the 1980’s onwards, including Manhunter, Tucker: The Man and his Dream, The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy. Her theatre credits include many productions for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which John Malkovich asked her to join.

Liam James plays the son of Claire Warren. Previous to the commencement of the show, his character, Adam, was presumed dead for over ten years. Liam James, a Canadian actor, is most famously noted for his roles as Noah Curtis in the 2009 film 2012, young Shawn Spencer on the USA Network television series Psych, and the lead character, Duncan, in 2013’s The Way, Way Back. He has also starred as Jack Linden in AMC’s The Killing, where he played the son of the main character, Sarah Linden. His look is almost unique, because he has heterochromia iridum which gives him one green and one blue eye.

Margot Bingham will play a sergeant, Nina Meyer. She has a vested interest in the re-appearance of Adam, as her career before the show begins was hugely successful – in no small part because she managed to catch Hank, who was assumed to be guilty of the murder of Adam. Margot has previously appeared in several films, including The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable and Her Burning Blue, but is best known for her recurring role as the 1920’s jazz singer Daughter Maitland in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Zach Gilford will play Danny Warren, who is the older son of Claire Warren, and Adam’s sibling. Zach Gilford is previously known for his roles in Off the Map, Friday Night Lights and The Mob Doctor, in which he has been a series regular for all three shows. He also has a filmography including The Purge: Anarchy.

Rupert Graves will play John Warren, Claire’s husband. He is known for his early roles in A Room with a View, Maurice, and The Madness of King George, as well as for his more recent role as DI Lestrade in the television series Sherlock.

The series will also star Alison Pill as Willa Warren, Claire’s daughter, Floriana Lima as Bridey Howard, who is a reporter that has a personal connection to Adam Warren, Andrew McCarthy as Hank, the man who was convicted of Adam’s murder and spent ten years in prison (as well as the Warren’s former neighbour),  Madeleine Arthur as young Willa Warren, Rarmian Newton as young Danny Warren, and Alex Steele as a young Bridey Howard.


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On 24th September, 2014, it was announced that ABC had bought the rights to Scandal’s writer Jenna Barnes. The script was for an untitled mystery drama. Mandeville Television and ABC Studios are co-producing the show, and Bans is serving as an executive producer, in addition to her co-executive producers David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks. The pilot was given the go ahead on January 28th of the following year.

Filming of the pilot began in March 2015, and the pilot was directed by Paul Mcguigan.

Casting for the main series began in February of 2015, and various announcements of new cast members occurred between February the 13th, when Zach Guildford was announced as being a recurring member, and March 12th, when Rupert Graves was the final main cast member to be announced, in the role of Claire Warren’s husband.

An airing for the pilot and subsequent episodes has yet to receive a date, and it has yet to be revealed how many episodes are set to comprise a season. All that is known is that the show will begin airing in the 2015-2016 season.

Reception (So Far)

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The series has yet to be aired, and thus yet to be reviewed by any notable critics. However, ABC has spared a lot of expense in getting a solid cast, and thus is showing that they believe the show will be a success. In particular, Joan Allen is returning to the television after many years starring as an A-Lister in many movies. She seems to be part of the ongoing series of stars who have returned to the television instead of staying in movies. Other notable actors who have done this include Steve Buscemi (for Boardwalk Empire,) Matthew McConaughey (for True Detective) and Kevin Spacey (for House Of Cards.)

Technical Things About The Show

Finally, here are some final details about the show which weren’t mentioned in the production section. The film is going to be distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, and each episode will run for 42 minutes. The show will air as part of the 2015-2016 television season. The picture format will be in 480 for Standard Definition broadcasts and 1080i for high definition broadcasts. If you have a current Comcast XFINITY internet connection, you can watch episodes of “The Family” any time.

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