Variety reports that McDonald replaced Theresa Randall in the pilot, which concerns a Boston detective (McDonald). Thomas Carter ("Hack," "Hill Street Blues," "Save the Last Dance") directs for Universal TV. McDonald made her series-TV debut this past season in “Mr. Sterling,” a political drama from Emmy-winning writer/producer Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr. The series chronicled the struggles of young Senator William Sterling Jr. (Josh Brolin), who was thrust into the position after the Senior Senator of California died. McDonald portrayed his chief of staff, Jackie Brock. The series aired its final episode March 14.
A Tony Award winner for her work in Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was most recently on Broadway in the title role of Marie Christine. The singer-actress recently made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. This summer, she will star with Patti LuPone in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.
In related news: McDonald will be seen in a short film, "Tea Time with Roy & Sylvia," which was written and directed by her sister Alison. "Tea Time" will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, May 7 and 10.