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Whitford, Sorkin Reunite in 'Studio 60'


Bradley Whitford, whose work on "The West Wing" ends this spring, won't be taking a whole lot of time off after the show wraps.

The Emmy winner is heading back to work on NBC's pilot "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin's latest project and a strong contender to make the fall schedule. Fellow "Wing" veteran Timothy Busfield and Sarah Paulson ("Deadwood," "Leap of Faith") have also joined the show.

Elsewhere, James Woods has signed on to star in the CBS pilot "Shark," which Spike Lee will direct; William Baldwin ("The Squid and the Whale") has joined the Eye's "Waterfront"; and Madeleine Stowe ("The Last of the Mohicans") will star in "Southern Comfort" for FOX.

"Studio 60" follows the lives of cast and crew on a fictional, "Saturday Night Live"-style comedy show. Whitford is set to play Danny, a former producer who returns to the show along with his creative partner, Matt (Matthew Perry), the showbiz trade papers report. Paulson will play a cast member who's also a devout Christian and Matt's ex, and Busfield will play the show's control-room director.

Busfield has also been added to the producing team and will direct some episodes.

Woods, a two-time Oscar nominee ("Salvador," "Ghosts of Mississippi") who recently did a guest turn on "ER," is taking his first starring role in a TV series with "Shark," about a celebrity lawyer turned prosecutor. It will also be the first pilot for Lee, whose film "Inside Man" hits theaters in March.

Also at CBS, Baldwin will play the district attorney in Providence, R.I., opposite Joe Pantoliano's mayor in "Waterfront," and Julia Ormond (Lifetime's "Beach Girls") will star in "The Way," about a powerful family that uses witchcraft to keep things that way.

Stowe, recently seen in the CBS movie "Saving Milly," is starring in "Southern Comfort," about the widow of a mob boss who assumes control of the family business. Also at FOX, Katheryn Winnick ("Failure to Launch") will star opposite Matthew Lillard in "13 Graves."

Among other castings are Nicole Sullivan ("Hot Properties") and Luis Guzman ("Boogie Nights," "Luis") joining Jeff Goldblum in NBC's "Raines" (formerly "Seeing Red"); Bobby Cannavale ("Will & Grace") in Paul Reiser's CBS comedy; and Rhea Seehorn ("I'm With Her"), Jarrad Paul ("The Shaggy Dog") and Conor Dubin ("Close to Home") in the NBC comedy "The Singles Table."

If this even remotely has the feel of my late beloved "Sports Night" I'll be a happy boy. And the name Danny lives! (See icon.) Timothy Busfield *AND* Bradley Whitford. How long before Joshua Malina shows up?


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
Sorkin could probably get everybody back from Sports Night if he works at it, except Felicity Huffmann. (Well, maybe Peter Krause.) Josh Charles was on Broadway last I checked, and Sabrina Lloyd's at liberty.

Perry's very smart in taking this role -- it'll play to his comedic talents without actually being a comedy. And I notice Courteney Cox is now doing a drama on FX, where she'll be a tabloid editor -- also smart.

A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly ruminated on why Jen Aniston isn't a major film star yet. My response: I proudly present what I believe to be the full list of all the stars of hit sitcoms that became consistently major motion picture stars:

John Travolta

(No, Tom Hanks doesn't count; Bosom Buddies was never a hit.)
Mar. 2nd, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
Josh Charles is on Broadway? Doing what?

*ashamed not to know this*

Sorkin really needs to not only hire Sabrina but bring her back as Natalie. After all, she had an interview with SNL; this wouldn't be much of a stretch.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
My error -- he's actually in a play out here. Here's the Wikipedia link -- runs another month.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
Okey-dokes. Bad enough I missed him in the LaBute play, but I'd be kickin' myself if I were blowing another chance to see his work live.

And thanks--I could have, you know, looked it up myself. Thanks for saving me the trouble.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
OOOoh. That would be interesting... Problem is that Sabrina wants to stay in NY, so unless the whole show is NY based, it's not likely, but I *like* it.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
She does? She is? Can she sing?

Why am I always the last to know these things?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )