Ashley Judd & Stark Sands to Lead NBC's Texas Church Drama SALVATION

Ashley Judd & Stark Sands to Lead NBC's Texas Church Drama SALVATION

Ashley Judd is headed back to NBC.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judd has signed on to lead the network's upcoming church drama pilot SALVATION, written by Liz Heldens (DECEPTION.) Deadline now reports that Tony nominee Stark Sands, just coming off of Broadway's KINKY BOOTS, will co-star. Meg Steedle, Emma Dumont and Jake Picking have also joined the cast.

The project is a "provocative drama set against the backdrop of a prominent Texas church where faith, family and corruption are explored in equal measure. The pilot centers on Jennifer Strickland (Judd), who has to defend her children, church and religious beliefs after her husband dies under mysterious circumstances."

Judd's character is "one of those awesome, smart, no bullshit, socially savvy Southern women -- a great mother, friend and wife to Spring Hill Mega-Church Pastor Daniel Strickland. Having faithfully stood by her husband's side, Jennifer's world is rocked by his death. Devastated, and facing pressure from all sides, Jennifer struggles to protect her family and the Spring Hill congregation. With faith guiding her, Jennifer steps up to the pulpit and takes over her husband's church."

Sands will take on the role of "Paul Strickland, the eldest child and the heir apparent to Daniel's evangelical empire who suffers from a chronic stutter and might have played a role in his dad's death."

Judd previously starred on NBC's short-lived series MISSING.

An eighth generation Eastern Kentuckian, Judd first proved her acting abilities in her debut feature film role as 'Ruby Lee Gissing' in Victor Nunez's internationally acclaimed "Ruby In Paradise." Having won major acting awards worldwide, Judd has demonstrated her range in a variety of genres and is a proven box office draw.

Most recently Judd appeared in "Olympus Has Fallen" for Film District. She will next be seen in "Divergent," the Summit film based on the best-selling children's novel by Veronica Roth. The film also stars Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet and will be in theaters in March 2014.

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