Emmy Award winner Regina King returns in 3rd season of ‘American Crime’

March 10, 2017 GMT

Two-time Emmy Award winner Regina King returns for the third season of “American Crime,” premiering at 10 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

Season three, according to the network, begins with another particularly timely episode, written by John Ridley and directed by So Yong Kim. Luis Salazar (Benito Martinez), an undocumented worker, travels from Mexico into the United States in search of a job, only to discover that modern servitude is thriving in the farmlands and agricultural communities. Promised work and a place to live, laborers find themselves required to pay exorbitant rates for shelter, food and other essentials. What little money they make is often collected directly by their employers, and workers find themselves caught in perpetual debt and without recourse because of their legal status.

Undocumented workers aren’t the only people targeted by this system. Coy Henson (Connor Jessup) is a young white American, estranged from his family and hopelessly addicted to drugs.

Lured by farm crew chief Isaac Castillo (Richard Cabral) with the promise of steady work, Coy soon realizes that an opportunity to turn his life around has turned into another form of dependency.

Hesby Farms, a struggling family-owned tomato farm, is forced to cut back on labor costs in order to be competitive in a market that continuously demands lower prices. Jeanette Hesby (Felicity Huffman), who married into the family that owns the farm, begins to learn the shocking truth about their wealth. Her turmoil will eventually force her to make a moral decision, which could put at odds with the family.

Regina King appears as Kimara Walters, a dedicated social worker who truly wants to help those in need. Unattached, single and in her forties, she desperately wants to have a baby and is finding it hard to get pregnant, even with the help of modern medicine. When Kimara meets Shae Reese (Ana Mulvoy-Ten), a 17-year-old prostitute, Kimara wants to help Shae get out of the business, turn her life around and testify against her pimp in court.

King’s career began as a child actress, playing Brenda Jenkins in the ’80s sitcom “227,” but her big break came in 1996 with her portrayal of Marcee Tidwell in “Jerry Maguire,” the vehicle which garnered an Academy Award Cuba Gooding Jr.

King is a constant presence on cable and network television, appearing in episodes of the CBS hit show “The Big Bang Theory,” Showtime’s critically acclaimed series “Shameless” and FX’s thriller “The Strain.” From 2009 to 2013, she starred as Detective Lydia Adams in the TNT drama “Southland.”

In 2015 and 2016, King won the the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performances in “American Crime,” portraying Aliyah Shadeed and Terri LaCroix, respectively.

On the big screen, the busy working mom, who once dated fellow child actor Malcolm Jamal Warner of “The Cosby Show,” has appeared in “Boyz n the Hood,” “Poetic Justice,” “Friday,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Ray” and “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.”

Now a rising star behind the camera, King has directed episodic television for ABC’s “Scandal,” BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” Fox’s “Pitch” and OWN’s “Greenleaf,” as well as the new Shonda Rhimes series, “The Catch.”