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Showtime Orders 13 Episodes of Laura Linney’s Cancer Comedy

It’s common knowledge that there is nothing funnier than cancer…wait, what?

ShowTime announced this week that the premium cable channel has ordered 13 episodes of The Big C starring Emmy-winner Laura Linney. Billed as a dark comedy, the show features Linney as a suburban wife whose world is rocked by a diagnosis of cancer.

Oliver Platt co-stars as the “immature but well-meaning husband” to Linney’s character.

“Laura Linney is the consummate actor and producer, and we’re thrilled she has chosen to come to ShowTime in this extraordinary series,” said ShowTime President of Entertainment Robert 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.”

Greenblatt adds: “Every year we would knock on her door and the door wasn’t answered. We approached her this time and told her we we think this is a great role. She read the script and instantly liked the material. We got the sense that she was open to something great. It was not her agenda to find a TV show this year but she said let me open my sphere to some TV ideas.”

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.

Golden Globe and SAG nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will guest star in the pilot episode.

Linney won an Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portrayal of Abigail Adams, wife of the second president of the United States, in the HBO mini-series John Adams. She also received a Golden Globe and SAG award for Best Performance by an Actress In a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television in 2009 for this role.

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