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Three-time Academy Award® nominee, three-time Emmy® winner, and SAG® and Golden Globe® Award winner Laura Linney comes to series television on SHOWTIME as star and executive producer of the provocative new half-hour original dark comedy series, THE BIG C (working title). Linney plays a reserved suburban wife and mother whose recent cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life and find hope, humor and the light side of a dark situation, while managing her immature but well-meaning husband, played by Oliver Platt. THE BIG C will begin shooting 13 episodes later this spring for a fall 2010 debut, it was announced today by SHOWTIME President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.

“Laura Linney is the consummate actor and producer, and we’re thrilled she has chosen to come to SHOWTIME in this extraordinary series,” said Greenblatt.  “The character and her journey are complex, requiring layered nuances of comedy and drama which I believe no one else could do better than Laura.  And she’s surrounded by a gifted ensemble of actors who will bring this show vividly to life.”

THE BIG C is created and written by Darlene Hunt, who will serve as executive producer, along with Linney, Neal H. Moritz and Vivian Cannon. It is produced by Original Film in association with Sony Pictures Television. Acclaimed writer/director/producer Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) directed the pilot, which re-teams him with both Linney, who he directed to a Supporting Actress Oscar® nomination for her work in Kinsey, and Oliver Platt (who co-starred in Kinsey), and SHOWTIME, which premiered Condon’s 1998 film Gods and Monsters, which he wrote and directed. Golden Globe and SAG nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will guest star in the pilot episode.

Linney began her career in theatre where she has appeared in the award-winning plays Six Degrees of Separation, The Crucible, Sight Unseen and Hedda Gabler. This January, she is starring in a limited engagement of Time Stands Still, directed by Donald Margulies, at Manhattan Theatre Club. On the small screen, she was first noted for her turn in the PBS series “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” which continued for two more installments on SHOWTIME, “More Tales of the City” and “Further Tales of the City.”  She earned Emmys for her work on “Frasier” and in SHOWTIME’s “Wild Iris.” She starred most recently in the Emmy®-winning HBO mini-series “John Adams” – her performance as Abigail Adams earned her Emmy®, Golden Globe® and SAG® Award wins. She earned Oscar® nominations for her critically acclaimed work in KINSEY, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME and THE SAVAGES. Additional film credits include THE TRUMAN SHOW, LOVE ACTUALLY, MYSTIC RIVER and THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. Currently, Linney is filming THE DETAILS, which was written and directed by Jacob Estes and also stars Tobey McGuire. Linney is represented by ICM, Brillistein Entertainment Partners and Barnes, Morris, Klein, Mark & Yorn.

THE BIG C marks Platt’s return to SHOWTIME. He was twice nominated for Emmys® and once for a Golden Globe® Award for his work opposite Hank Azaria in the network’s comedy series, HUFF. He was nominated for SAG® Awards most recently for his memorable turns in the 2009 film Frost/Nixon, and in the 2008 mini-series, The Bronx is Burning. He was also nominated for Emmy® Awards for his work in Nip/Tuck and The West Wing.

Moritz has been producing film and television for nearly 20 years. His big screen credits include SWEET HOME ALABAMA, THE FAST & THE FURIOUS franchise, and I AM LEGEND. Upcoming films include the remake of the ‘80s television series 21 JUMP STREET, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, starring Aaron Eckhart, and the popular comic book THE GREEN HORNET, starring Seth Rogen. Moritz has produced television titles as wide ranging as “Prison Break” and “Tru Calling,” and he was nominated for an Emmy® award as executive producer of the HBO bio-pic “The Rat Pack.” He is represented by CAA.

Series executive producer and creator Hunt has worked as a consulting producer on the hit CW show “90210,” and has written for series such as “Will & Grace” and “Good Morning Miami.”  She has also developed numerous pilots for network and cable. As an actor, she’s a member of the famed comedy troupe The Groundlings and starred on television in the 2006 Ted Danson series “Help Me Help You.” She is represented by UTA. Executive producer Vivian Cannon’s credits include “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” “Tell Me You Love Me,” the 2005 film LITTLE MANHATTAN, starring Bradley Whitford and Cynthia Nixon, and the 2004 film SEEING OTHER PEOPLE, starring Jay Mohr, Julianne Nicholson and Brian Cranston.

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