EXCLUSIVE: She is Hamptons evil personified on ABC’s Revenge, but Madeleine Stowe’s next stop is the Big Easy. The actress has signed up to Austin Stark‘s political drama The Runner alongside Nicolas Cage. Stowe will play Deborah Price, the steely spouse of Cage’s congressman. Bound together by ambition, the two are stuck in a virtually dead marriage that sees Stowe’s character turning the other way regarding her husband’s publicly revealed infidelities. Stark also wrote and produces The Runner, a Paper Street Films and Back Lot Pictures production, which takes place in the shadow of the 2010 BP oil spill that ravaged the Gulf Coast. Filming is set to start in NOLA in June. Stowe, who will be back for Season 4 of Revenge, is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor and contributor to AwardsLine.
At the onset of the 2011-12 season, Mad Men knockoffs Pan Am and The Playboy Club were primed to be the masters of the broadcast drama universe but ABC’s Revenge stole their thunder. The series created by Mike Kelley kicked off with an electric set-up (a dead body on the beach during an engagement soiree), irresistible twists and a string of sexy, complex characters that rivaled the dramatis personae of any premium cable show. Revenge plays like a bastard relative of an F. Scott Fitzgerald story in its deconstruction of Long Island high society, swapping The Great Gatsby’s North Shore of the 1920s for the Hamptons of today. (“I have never visited The Hamptons, but I’ve definitely visited nighttime drama,” Kelley quips.) World Series fixers of the Jazz Age are replaced with the millennium’s one percent who’ve unscrupulously licked the recession. Instead of a lovelorn Jay Gatsby we have a vindictive Amanda Clarke in Revenge, a juvenile delinquent turned socialite under the alias Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp). Her m.o.: Decimate the Grayson family, the folks who took her father’s life, in particular her dad’s ex-Queen Bee mistress Victoria Grayson (played with campy gusto by Madeleine Stowe). Close to 9 million on average last season tuned in for Revenge, making it ABC’s most watched 10 PM show in four years, since Lost in 2006-07. Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alesandro spoke with Kelley.
HOW REVENGE CAME TOGETHER: After Swingtown [on CBS], which was a personal story about my wonder years through my parents’ bedrooms (during the 1970s) and [CW’s] The Beautiful Life: TBL, which I did per my contract at CBS and which died a merciful quick death, I wanted to hook up with a network that was a better fit for my sensibilities. … Paul Lee, who just came in as president [of ABC Entertainment], was interested in doing something based on The Count Of Monte Cristo. At the same time [production company] Temple Hill wanted to do a show that took place in the Hamptons. I loved The Count of Monte Cristo, but there was no way one could do a show like that in linear fashion. So my take
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
While sitting on the final TCA panel of the day today, the veteran actress Madeleine Stowe – a member of the cast on the new ABC drama Revenge that will air Wednesday nights at 10 this fall — believes that recession-ravaged Americans will welcome a series set among the chi-chi set in the Hamptons that finds the “haves” being treated to the bitter taste of revenge. The series, which premieres Sept. 21, stars Emily VanCamp as a young woman exacting revenge on a wealthy Hamptons clan that destroyed her father. “We’re dealing with a particular time in American history where I think the average citizen is going to want to see the takedown of the rich,” Stowe said from the stage. Afterward, she elaborated further, telling Deadline, “We all know that we’re heading toward very interesting times. I don’t know where our country is going to be. But I think the idea of being able to observe these overprivileged people who have everything at their fingertips and at their beck and call given a comeuppance might be sort of a vicarious thrill for the audience.”
Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny are set to co-star in ABC’s drama pilot Revenge centers on Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the Graysons who destroyed her family. Stowe will play Victoria Grayson, the matriarch of the family and a social power broker. Having long ago masterminded the merciless destruction of Amanda’s dad Kevin Clarke and the ostracism of his daughter to a life in foster homes, Victoria has no idea that Emily is actually Amanda and welcomes her as a friend and neighbor. Czerny will play Victoria’s husband Conrad. Stowe, repped by Gersh and Brillstein, took a break from acting during the past couple of years to work on her feature Western script Unbound Captive, which she is also set to direct. Czerny, repped by the Glick Agency and Perry Zimel, was seen in The A-Team and on the first season of The Tudors.
Heroes alum Robert Knepper is returning to NBC with a supporting role in the network’s drama pilot Reconstruction. Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, the project is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Martin Henderson), a soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as …