‘Whitney‘ star Yaya Dacosta has secured the lead role in a scorching NBC drama this year, nabbing the spot after rising to fame as a contestant on hit show ‘America’s Next Top Model.’
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The entertainer will play a character to be introduced in the 19th episode of Chicago Fire‘s current season, and lead the show’s new medical spinoff Chicago Med.
The series will see Yaya portray Maggie Seaver, a nurse with romantic ties to Fire’s Kelly Severide, played by the actor Taylor Kinney who will play a major part in a storyline that will lead to the launch of Med.
Like with Chicago PD, which also started as a planted spinoff from Chicago Fire, the Chicago Med episode is conceived/written by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Dick Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD franchise for Universal TV. “There will be an event that brings Chicago Med within Chicago Fire,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA last month.
DaCosta, who had been sought for pilots after following her breakout role as Whitney Houston, also appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. She is with Gersh.
On the heels of the success of shows with black leads/casts like Fox’s Empire and ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, there has been a strong interest among the broadcast networks in ethnic talent, with DaCosta likely the first of a number of black actors cast in lead roles this pilot season.