'The Conners' Star John Goodman to Headline New Netflix Thriller 'Black Earth Rising'

The Conners star John Goodman recently filmed a BBC thriller called Black Earth Rising, which will be available for U.S. viewers next month.

Netflix confirmed that the London-set legal drama will debut on Netflix in the U.S. on Jan. 25, with all eight Series 1 episodes available.

The series stars Michaela Coel as Kate Ashby, a Rawandan-born legal investigator working for Michael Ennis (Goodman), an American-born divorced barrister working in London. Kate's adoptive mother, Eve (Harriet Walter) has to prosecute an African militia leader, which changes Kate and Michael's lives forever.

Aside from Goodman, Black Earth Rising also stars Tamara Tunie, who should be familiar to American audiences for her role as medical examiner Melinda Warner on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

As for Coel, she appeared in the Black Mirror episodes "Nosedive" and "USS Callister" and starred in the 2015 U.K. series Chewing Gum. She also had a brief role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Black Earth Rising was written and created by Hugo Blick, who also wrote and directed 2014's The Honourable Woman. The series aired on BBC Two in September and October to critical acclaim. This month, The Guardian included it as the eighth best TV series of 2018, however, the BBC has not commissioned a second season yet.

Goodman filmed Black Earth Rising after wrapping work on ABC's Roseanne revival. That show was cancelled after Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist message, but ABC ordered The Conners, in which Goodman plays Dan Conner.

In an interview with Deadline, Goodman said it was "lovely" to work on Black Earth Rising, since he looked forward "to going to work every day."

Goodman described his character as a man who is "lonely, disconnected and disheartened."

"I think he's trying to fight his way back into a life," Goodman explained. "It appears that he's a bit lost. He has cancer, his daughter is in a coma, and out of guilt and duty he feels he has to find to find the passion that drove him in the first place. Which came from Eve, I think. He quite fancied the passion that Eve had and that's what got him started in the first place."

Goodman told Deadline he hopes to work more in London in the future after enjoying his experience on the show.

"Maybe 12 months out of the year I'd like to work in London. The talent there is matchless – I don't want to get myself into trouble for saying that – but everybody is just so willing to pitch in," the actor said. "They're so well-prepared and crafted. I have a great respect for them."

The next episode of The Conners airs on ABC Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. ET.


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