'The Whole Truth' creator: 'I wrote the role with Maura Tierney in mind'

maura-tierney-the-whole-truth-320.jpgABC's new legal drama "The Whole Truth" from producer Jerry Bruckheimer is creator Tom Donaghy's first major foray into TV -- and the playwright is super excited about the originality of the premise.

"It offers two different perspectives," Donaghy tells Zap2it. "I've been a fan of law shows for years. Generally you see either the side of the criminal defense lawyers defending the innocent, or you see the state protecting it's citizens from the criminals. But I always thought there was something more complex and gray than all that."

"So now we get to tell the stories from both perspectives, which I think is more interesting," he continues. "We go back and forth and we assume an intelligent audience who will decide for themselves the guilt or innocence of the defendants and we find out at the end the whole truth."

Donaghy also assures us that in the back and forth telling of both sides of each case, there will be plot developments galore, but all will be resolved by episode's end.

"Right now we're doing standalone episodes, which actually I enjoy because to me it's like a great short story. You'll see the whole thing in one hour and you will be satisfied," says Donaghy. "We might carry a little bit of character stuff between each episode, but the stories are very rich and we just want to pack those hours with a lot of twists and turns."

"The Whole Truth" pilot was originally filmed with Joely Richardson, who left the show to spend time with her family following the deaths of her sister Natasha, aunt Lynn and uncle Corin. She was subsequently replaced by actress Maura Tierney. Donaghy says that the show misses Richardson but that the character of DA Kathryn Peale was actually written with Tierney in mind.

"I love Joely and I love Maura, they're both very different actors," says Donaghy. "I'll tell you this much. I went to NYU with Maura, I wrote that role with Maura Tierney in mind. She couldn't do it for her own personal reasons, but in my head, it was always Maura's voice for Kathryn, so I'm very gratified to hear her say the words."

"I'm thrilled she became available," Donaghy continues. "She and Rob knew each other a little bit and they have a very nice Tracy-Hepburn kind of banter ... I've seen this wonderful dynamic, crackling, teasing, flirty dynamic arise between them and it's very nice."

"When I developed this, actually I was watching 'Adam's Rib' and fell into this rabbit hole of all the Tracy-Hepburn movies, because they were often competitors who were sexually drawn to each other and admired each other, so we understood their battles in a way through this kind of prism of likeability."

"The Whole Truth" debuts Wednesday (Sept. 22) at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Photo credit: ABC

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