By Lynette Rice
March 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Lionel Cironneau/AP

Torchwood star John Barrowman will put his 1,000-watt smile to good use in Gilded Lilys, the next drama in the works at ABC from uber-producer Shonda Rhimes.

Barrowman will play Julius Lily, the playboy son of a family looking to open a ritzy hotel in New York. Here’s the official logline for the drama pilot; “Set in 1895, this epic love story follows the opening of the first grand luxury hotel in NY, against a backdrop of vicious family rivalries, scandalous secrets, and conflict and co-mingling of classes.” Writer K.J. Steinberg (The Nine, Gossip Girl) composed the script.

Barrowman played Capt. Jack Harkness in Torchwood. He previously guest-starred in Desperate Housewives.

Meanwhile, Rhimes’ next show, the political soap Scandal, will bow April 5.