- Judy Smith, always behind the scenes of crises. (That's former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now imprisoned.) (Photo: Associated Press)
Judy Smith, a D.C.-based crisis management consultant, is the woman you call to the put the fire out. Or to start a fire. Her clients have included Monica Lewinsky, Marion Barry, and Michael Vick, and she was behind the character attacks on Caroline Kennedy last year. Other jobs have involved the Iran-Contra affair, Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, President Clinton's impeachment, the Chandra Levy investigation, the Congressional inquiry on Enron, and the D.C. sniper case. Clearly, Smith is not afraid to get her hands dirty, and this makes for good — meaning "middling primetime" — television viewing. Deadline reports that the first pilot ordered by ABC this development season is based on Smith's life and was written by Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. It should come as no surprise that Smith, who knows all about control, will serve as co-executive producer and a technical consultant.
Deadline also reports on several additions to the cast of Veep, an HBO comedy pilot starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a former senator who becomes vice president.