Will 'The Divide' Be WE tv's 'Mad Men?

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WE tv’s first foray into scripted programming is The Divide, a legal drama that focuses on a prosecutor who may have wrongly indicted a man on death row.  But co-creator Richard LaGravenese explains why the show is not just its genre. “It’s not a procedural. It’s not a law show. It’s a story with compelling characters set in the world of justice, the death penalty and the Innocence Project,” he tells CableFAX. “I was a little intimidated at first by the world of law and DNA and those details. For me, I have to reduce it to people, to the human story. That’s my common denominator.”

LaGravanese, who is the screenwriter of movies like The Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer, and Behind the Candelabra, is equally enthusiastic about the luxuries the medium of episodic TV affords him as a writer. “The great thing about TV is that it’s this living, breathing thing that keeps evolving as you’re working on it. And what fascinated me is that it’s such a fertile ground for exploring one of my favorite ideas: that everybody has their reasons,” he says. “Whether you agree with them or not, at least you understand why. You give them their due. They had a right to feel that way. Every character has that sort of internal moral divide, a sense of personal justice.”

The show was initially acquired by AMC before being shuffled to sister network WE tv as they launched their own scripted programming. Co-creator Tony Goldwyn explains that the AMC executives told him, “'We’re transforming that network, we’re bringing in scripted programming, and we want to do with that network what Mad Men did for AMC.’”

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