It’s all relative for Dascha Polanco…
The 37-year-old Dominican actress will star opposite Tate Donovan and Melissa Leo in the Fox pilot Blood Relative.
The forensic genealogy-themed crime drama hails from writer-producer Chris Levinson and producer Liza Chasin.
Blood Relative is based on James Renner’s 2018 article “Beyond the Jungle of Bad: The True Story of Two Women from California Who Are Solving All the Mysteries,” about Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick and Dr. Margaret Press, who combined their genealogy expertise to push the boundaries of forensic science and helped law enforcement identify Joe and Jane Does and track down serial killers.
Written by Levinson and Renner and to be directed by Phillip Noyce, Blood Relativecenters on genetic genealogy, the best new tool in crime scene forensics, and nobody knows it like Louise Kelly (Leo). Too bad she’s impossible to deal with.
Polanco will play Maria Alvarez, a woman making lemonade out of lemons. She and her hearing-impaired 8-year-old son Sam live with her home psychic mother while Maria goes to night school to get her Ph.D. in psychology (she will eventually go to work at the same Parish Precinct as John (Donovan). Maria’s reason for wanting to work with cops? She’s spent her entire life in their world. Twenty years ago, her father Diego was convicted of murder. Maria is stunned to learn that the police have discovered the body of Gary Northrup – the very man her father is accused of killing. Lou’s DNA genius might prove her father’s innocence. Maria’s life will be changed by this new science and this oh so unique woman. She’ll also prove to be one of the only people alive who speaks “Lou,” making her an invaluable asset.
Paramount Television Studios and Anonymous Content co-produce with Fox Entertainment.
Polanco rose to acclaim as Dayanara Diaz on all seven seasons of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. She’ll next co-star in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s In the Heights and as the female lead alongside Sylvester Stallone in Samaritan.
Polanco’s other credits include Netflix’s When They See Us, The Irishman and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Polanco was high on Fox’s wish list of talent for pilots this season. Her deal for Blood Relativewas in negotiations when pilot season ground to a halt in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.