Conviction: Hayley Atwell Helps the Wrongly Convicted in New ABC Drama

Ileane Rudolph
Hayes Morison, Conviction
Maarten de Boer/Contour by Getty Image for TV Guide Magazine

Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell, Agent Carter) doesn’t seem the smartest choice to head the Conviction Integrity Unit of the New York District Attorney’s office, which aims to free wrongly convicted inmates.

She’s a former First Daughter with a penchant for bad behavior—executive producer Liz Friedman calls her “Chelsea Clinton by way of the Bush twins”—who’s blackmailed into the job after her former boyfriend, DA Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill), quashed her cocaine bust at the behest of her mother (Bess Armstrong), a candidate for the Senate.

Not that Hayes is completely unqualified for the job. “She happens to be a brilliant lawyer and a presence who will bring needed publicity to Wallace’s project,” Friedman says.

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“The CIUs are a new phenomenon,” Friedman adds. “DA offices reviewing their own work struck us as a really interesting way to tell a legal story about a justice system that is not always just.” The team includes Sam Spencer (Shawn Ashmore), who was set for the top job until Hayes showed up; former cop Maxine Bohen (Merrin Dungey); and Frankie Cruz (Manny Montana), a forensics expert and an ex-con himself.

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Each episode will take on a new case, but “this is not a good guy getting out of prison every week,” Friedman cautions. “There will be innocent people they can’t get released and people who really did do the crime who go free.”

Conviction, Series Premiere, Monday, October 3, 10/9c, ABC.