New ABC show "Notorious" explores relationship between media and law enforcement

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The relationshp between media and law enforcement is under a microscope these days, and fertile ground for a drama based on that relationship.

"Notorious" is one of the new ABC shows hitting the fall lineup this year.

"Notorious" is the show chosen to replace "Scandal" on Thursday nights when the season premiere of that series was delayed by the real-life pregnancy of star Kerry Washington.

Turns out "Notorious" was inspired by the life of one of my oldest friends in TV news.

She is the producer of a cable news show on a constant hunt for ratings.

He is a celebrity defense attorney who plays the press like a violin.

Together they make TV so compelling it's "Notorious".

The show is based on the real life relationship between producer Wendy Walker, who guided Larry King Live, and lawyer Mark Geragos, who represents stars like Chris Brown when they get into legal trouble.

"He really manipulated me, and he manipulated me to get his word, what he wanted on the show and I manipulated him too: because anything he touched became ratings," said Walker.

Wendy spent more than three decades at CNN, where she helped me get a job in 1980.

We were re-united on the set of "Notorious" in L.A.

The studio, control room and the entire backstage of the fictional show have been recreated on a Hollywood soundstage.

"How often do you come here?", I asked.

"I'm on-set anytime there is something being shot at the bureau, in the newsroom at the anchor desk, control room, all this. - I'm here," said Wendy.

Piper Perabo plays a character based on Wendy Walker.

Daniel Sunjata co-stars as an attorney like Geragos.

"It's disarming how personable he is," said Sunjata.

"She's so good at her job she's a lot to live up to," said Perabo.

But their characters don't bear the same names to allow for some artistic license, and so viewers won't get the wrong idea about Wendy.

"The character does a few things that I wouldn't have done," said Wendy.

She swears her life is a lot more tame than her alter-ego, but she did take Piper Perabo into CNN's control room to help the actress get a feel for the fast pace of breaking news.

Perabo says the visit was crucial to playing this role.

You can see all this right in the middle of Thursday night's prime-time lineup, which begins at 8 p.m. with "Grey's Anatomy", followed by "Notorious" at 9 p.m., then "How To Get Away with Murder" at 10, followed by Eyewitness News at 11.
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