Mercedes Ruehl is set to co-star opposite Steve Coogan and Carla Gugino in David Shore’s ABC legal drama pilot Doubt. The project, from Sony TV, centers on Vincent (Coogan), a former cop who’s now a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer using his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife Linda (Gugino). Oscar and Tony winner Ruehl, repped by Frontline Management and Innovative, will play Mrs. Syn Newman, a lawyer who works (and constantly bickers) with his husband (John Pankow) in offices they rent from Vince. Though frequently exasperated by Vincent, she also considers him a son and her frustration with him never dampens her desire to fight alongside him. Doubt reunites Ruehl with Sony TV after starring in the studio’s Fox comedy pilot El Jefe last season. She guest stars in the episode of TNT’s Monday Mornings which airs this Monday and will be seen in the film Chu And Blossom.
Mercedes Ruehl is set to star opposite Ryan Hansen in Fox’s comedy pilot El Jefe. The project, from writers David Guarascio & Moses Port and Sony TV, centers on the affable but lost upper-class 30-year-old Josh (Hansen) who, tossed out of his Brentwood home, moves in with his adoring longtime Latina nanny Delmi (Ruehl), a vibrant woman and a real life force “of sturdy peasant stock.” Also cast in the pilot is Jessica Camacho as Lucia, the girlfriend of Delmi’s son (Victor Rasuk).
It has been a rollercoatser last couple of days for Ruehl. After spending years looking after her family, the Oscar and Tony winner recently decided to return to acting and a month ago signed on for what was going to be her first regular series role on the second season of HBO’s horseracing drama Luck. After HBO’s sudden decision Wednesday afternoon to end the series following the third horse death on set, Ruehl’s reps sent out feelers to networks and studios about doing a broadcast pilot. I hear Fox and Sony, and particularly Fox’s head of casting Tess Sanchez, made a strong case for El Jefe, and after reading the script and meeting with Guarascio and Port, Ruehl decided to do it. Ruehl, repped by Innovative and manager Craig Dorfman, starts production Monday, just five days after Luck was canceled.