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All in the Family: ABC’s ‘Conviction’ Casts Sister of Network’s Boss

”Once Upon a Time“ star Merrin Dungey has personal connection to new ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey

ABC has cast Merrin Dungey in the drama pilot “Conviction,” starring Hayley Atwell.

Dungey, whose recent credits include “Chasing Life” and “Once Upon a Time,” will play Maxine, the lead investigator for the Conviction Integrity Unit. Maxine is a former NYPD detective from a cop family. She is tough and no-nonsense, but will find her previously unfailing loyalty to the badge tested as she delves into her former colleagues’ cases.

The casting comes two weeks after Dungey’s sister Channing took over for Paul Lee as president of ABC Entertainment.

“Conviction,” from co-creators Liz Friedman and Liz Friedlander also stars Shawn Ashmore, Emily Kinney and Manny Montana.

The drama follows a young attorney (Atwell), the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former President, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensics experts, examines cases where there’s credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.

Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper will serve as executive producers, and The Mark Gordon Company will finance and produce with ABC Studios.