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‘Law & Order: SVU’ Alum Raul Esparza to Star in NBC Pilot ‘Suspicion’

Daniel S. Levine

03/08/2018

A month after leaving Law & Order: SVU, Raul Esparza has landed a lead role in the new NBC pilot Suspicion.

According to Variety, the project is billed as a "Hitchcockian thriller" based on the 2015 book by Joseph Finder, not the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name. Derek Luke, who starred in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and had a run on Empire, will star with Esparza.

Suspicion centers on Danny Goodman (Luke), who is forced to become an FBI informant after he takes a loan from his millionaire neighbor, Tom Canter (Esparza). Like Danny, Tom comes from a humble background and instantly becomes friends with Danny over their shared history.

According to the book's synopsis, Tom's money is linked to drugs and the FBI wants information on his new friend. Can Danny keep the lies straight to save his life and everyone around him, or will he slip? This is where the pilot picks up.

The pilot was written and executive produced by Jessica Goldberg, who also worked with Esparza on Hulu's The Path. Goldberg created the series, which also stars Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan. Esparza joined that show in the third season.

Esparza had been on SVU since season 14, playing Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba. He left the show during the Feb. 7 episode after Barba resigned.

Esparza left on good terms though, tweeting after the show, "Goodbye Barba. Thank you. You changed my life. My squad. And you, you always, my Liv, my friend Mariska [Hargatay]. I will always treasure my time with all of you."

Esparza also appeared on Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and voiced a character in Netflix's BoJack Horseman. During his early television career, he also played different characters on a 2009 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and a 2010 episode of Law & Order.

The other executive producers on Suspicion include Keshet’s Rachel Kaplan, Peter Traugott, Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman and the book's author, Finder. Universal Television and Keshet are the studios behind the pilot.

Photo Credit: NBC

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