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Melissa Leo to Star on Fox Crime Drama Pilot ‘Blood Relative’

Academy Award winner will play Louise Kelly, an expert in genetic genealogy

Melissa Leo has been set as the lead of Fox’s crime drama pilot “Blood Relative.”

The project from Chris Levinson and Liza Chasin is based on James Renner’s article “Beyond the Jungle of Bad: The True Story of Two Women from California Who Are Solving All the Mysteries” and follows Louise Kelly (Leo), an expert in genetic genealogy.

Here’s the official description for the Academy Award winner’s character:

Lou Kelly is… difficult. With an IQ in the 190s, Lou wrote the book on genetic genealogy and can trace anyone if she has a viable tissue sample to play with – John and Jane Does, errant husbands, long-lost children, murderers in hiding, anyone with a secret life. But Lou has a habit of burning bridges as she goes. Sarcastic, sardonic, irritable and confrontational, she’s the smartest person in the room with no time to explain her methods to average folks. Except her little brother John. It’s through working with her brother to solve the toughest of cases that secrets from their past will start to bubble to the surface. Threatening their relationship and their father’s legacy as a respected Lieutenant, community leader and all around good guy. And maybe that’s exactly what will set Lou free…

Fox had originally placed a cast-contingency on the pilot order for “Blood Relative,” which has now been lifted with Leo’s addition to the drama.

The pilot is written by Levinson and James Renner, who will executive produce alongside Chasin. Phillip Noyce will direct the episode and also executive produce.

“Blood Relative” is a co-production between Paramount Television Studios, Anonymous Content and Fox Entertainment