PEOPLE has the first look at Shondaland's new legal drama

More drama is coming to ABC.

In the new Shondaland series, For the People, creator Paul William Davies and executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers bring new high-stakes courtroom experiences to life.

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the most high-profile trial court in America, six junior lawyers will face off in thrilling trials, all while trying to prove their worth to impress their veteran bosses. Starring Britt Robertson, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Ben Rappaport, the show will highlight these young attorneys working for both the defense and the prosecution — going at it both inside and outside the courtroom.

Rhimes, who also executive-produces Grey’s Anatomy, recently confirmed a crossover episode of her other top shows, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder is set to air sometime this spring.


In November, Rhimes was honored at the 24th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame ceremony in Los Angeles, where Oprah Winfrey took the stage to pay tribute to the writer/producer.

“I’m here for Shonda,” said Winfrey, 63. “She could not have come at another time. She could not have come to another place. She belongs to this medium, and she belongs to this moment in a way that doesn’t so much defy the odds as redefine the odds. She is currently the most powerful showrunner in television. Period.”

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“Shonda Rhimes makes appointment television with an inclusive world view,” she continued. “Her business card simply states, ‘storyteller,’ because that’s who she is and what she does. Shonda tells stories that reflect the wonderfully multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-everything world that we see all around us, and she writes about individuals from different backgrounds, who defy stereotypes.”

Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey
Credit: Arnold Turner/Invision for Invision for the Television Academy/AP

In her acceptance speech, the 47-year-old showrunner revealed that Winfrey was the root of her inspiration.

“The only limit to your success is your own imagination — but still, you have to be able to imagine it,” she said. “One day I turned on the TV and saw something it had never occurred to me to imagine. I saw this woman on TV, and she was smart, and funny, and emotionally honest, and she seemed unapologetically herself. She was in charge, comfortable, powerful, smart, real, it was her show, and she looked like me.”

“She was a black woman on television, and then she was a black woman taking over the world through television,” she continued. “She was Oprah. Oprah Winfrey changed my imagination. She changed what I found to be imaginable. Any limits to my success suddenly seemed — something clicked, and my imagination had no limits. The world got wider.”

Tune in Thursday during Grey’s Anatomy for an exclusive first look of For The People, which premieres March 13 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.