Virginia Madsen is set to co-star opposite Meagan Good and Kyle Schmid in NBC drama pilot Babylon Fields, from Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta and Michael Atkinson. The 20th TV-produced project, originally developed and piloted at CBS seven years ago, is about a town’s residents coming back from the dead. Madsen will play Rhonda Wunch, CDC scientist Thomas Wunch’s (Schmid) mother who is close to her son and wants him to stay home in Babylon. Rounding out the pilot’s regular cast are Ritchie Coster as Ernie Wunch, Thomas’ father and Rhonda’s husband, a former cop who most people thought ran away to Daytona; and Yul Vazquez as Chief of Police Matt Conte. Madsen, repped by UTA and Untitled, has recurred on Lifetime’s Witches Of East End. Coster is with Gersh and Glenn Daniels Arts Management; Vazquez is managed by Untitled.
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William H. Macy, Virginia Madsen, Peter Facinelli, Andrew J West and Justin Kirk have come aboard the dramedy Walter, about a young man who believes that he is actually the son of God. As such, the eternal destiny of everyone he encounters is his responsibility — which is a lot to manage along with his job at a movie theater, his loving but neurotic mother, and his growing but unspoken affection for his co-worker. Life becomes even more complicated when a mysterious figure appears who forces Walter to examine the true meaning of life. Neve Campbell, Leven Rambin and Milo Ventimiglia co-star in the pic, which has started shooting in Indiana and LA and is based on a short story written by Paul Schoulberg, who also wrote the screenplay. West plays Walter as he did in the 2010 short film of the same name. McG protege Anna Mastro is making her feature directing debut on the feature version, which is being produced by Zero Gravity’s Mark Holder and Christine Holder along with Brendan Patrick Hill, Ryan Harris and Benito Mueller.
Anna Nicole, which tells the rags to riches story of late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, will premiere on Saturday, June 29, at 8 PM, Lifetime announced today. Agnes Bruckner stars as Anna Nicole, alongside Martin Landau, Virginia Madsen, Adam Goldberg and Cary Elwes. Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Judith Verno executive produced the film which follows the swift rise and fall of Vickie Lynn Hogan (Bruckner), a Texas high school dropout and single mother with dreams of a better life. The biopic explores the sordid details that created Smith’s infamous persona, from stardom to her untimely death from a fatal combination of pills. Madsen portrays Anna’s mother Virgie, Goldberg is Anna’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern; Elwes plays Marshall’s son, E. Pierce; and Graham Patrick Martin (Two And A Half Men) stars as Anna Nicole’s son, Daniel. Mary Harron directed from a screenplay by John Rice and Joe Batteer. Anna Nicole is executive produced by Verno’s Peace Out Productions and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Matthew Goode (A Single Man) has been cast in Vatican, Showtime’s drama pilot from Paul Attanasio, Sony Pictures TV and Scott Free. Directed by Ridley Scott, Vatican is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Goode will play Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, the current Pope’s closest confidante, giving him a very powerful perch within the inner-circle of the Vatican.
Virginia Madsen has been tapped for a lead role in NBC’s drama pilot Hatfields & McCoys, a modern-day Hatfields and McCoys project created by John Glenn and produced by Charlize Theron, Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Beau Flynn and ABC Studios. A startling death re-ignites the feud between these two legendary families in present-day Pittsburgh, unleashing decades of resentment. Madsen will play the matriarch of the McCoy clan, Eloise McCoy, a self-made woman who, despite her seemingly calm demeanor, is an extremely vengeful and calculated woman who will do anything for her family. Read More »
Virginia Madsen stars in the pic based on the novel Angel Angel by April Stevens and directed by first-time helmer Sarah Siegel-Magness, who was a producer on Precious. Phase 4 has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Long Time Gone and will release the film in the spring day-and-date in theaters and on-demand across VOD and digital platforms. Amanda Crew, Zach Gilford, Anthony LaPaglia, Eva Longoria and Sam Trammel co-star. Karen McCullah Lutz (Legally Blonde) wrote the script, which centers on a woman (Madsen) whose life is thrown into disarray when she discovers her husband’s extramarital affair. She suffers a nervous breakdown, and her good-hearted stoner son is determined to comfort her with the help of his estranged older brother and live-in girlfriend. Bobbi Sue Luther, Gary Magness and Lutz produced. Smokewood Entertainment sold rights to the pic; Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe negotiated the deal with Paradigm’s Nick LoPiccolo and Ben Weiss on behalf of the filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Martin Landau and Oscar-nominated Virginia Madsen are set to co-star opposite Agnes Bruckner in Lifetime’s original movie The Anna Nicole Story. American Psycho helmer Mary Harron has come on board to direct the film, executive produced by Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Judith Verno. Written by John Rice and Joe Batteer, the biopic is based on the true life story of Vickie Lynn Hogan, a pretty but plain girl growing up in a small Texas town who transforms herself into Anna Nicole Smith – a voluptuous, Marilyn Monroe-esque Playboy pin-up and model. Determined to be noticed, for good or ill, Vickie gets her wish, but it comes at a steep price, both for her and her beloved son, Danny. Madsen will play Vickie’s mom Virgie who raised her. Landau will play oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall who married then-stripper Smith when he was 89 and she was 26. He died a year later, and Smith spent the following decade in a legal battle with Marshall’s sons over his estate. The Anna Nicole Story is produced by Sony Pictures TV and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment. Landau, repped by TalentWorks, voices a character in the upcoming animated feature Frankenweenie. Harron is with WME.
Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas have signed on to Jake Squared. Koteas will play the title character, a filmmaker whose self-examination movie spins out of control. The Oscar nominated Madsen plays Beth, Jake’s confidant. The film is written and directed by Howard Goldberg, a Sundance Institute Fellowship recipient. Koteas, Goldberg and David K. Wilson are producing the indie. Shelley H. Surpin and Howard Himelstein are executive producing. Koteas is also starring, along with Liev Schreiber, in the sci-fi thriller Last Days of Mars. It was announced recently that Madsen, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in 2004’s Sideways, would join the cast of Hell On Wheels for several episodes in the AMC show’s second season. Koteas is repped by UTA and Kipperman Management. Madsen is repped by UTA and Untitled.
Virginia Madsen is set to join the cast of the second season of AMC’s period Western Hell On Wheels in a three-episode arc, playing Mrs. Hannah Durant, wife of Thomas “Doc” Durant (Colm Meaney). She is with UTA and Untitled.
Treme regular Jon Seda has booked a three-episode arc on NBC’s upcoming firefighter drama Chicago Fire. He will play Det. Antonio Dawson, brother to paramedic Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund). Seda, repped by ICM and A Management, will next be seen in the Walter Hill feature Bullet to the Head.
David Julian Hirsh has booked a season-long recurring role on the final season of Weeds, playing the liberal and charming Rabbi Dave. After the Showtime comedy, the actor, repped by Industry and APA, goes straight into production on the Lifetime TV movie A Narrow Bridge, in which he stars opposite Toni Braxton.
Billy Zane has been cast as the title character in the ReelzChannel’s four-part miniseries Barabbas. Based on the novel by Par Lagerkvist, the miniseries follows the life of Barabbas (Zane), a man who was jailed at the same time as Jesus Christ, but who was spared from crucifixion when the masses demanded his release over Jesus. The series picks up where the Bible left off. Zane is repped by Luber Roklin and Paradigm. Read More »
While original TV movies continue to struggle on broadcast TV as evident by the underwhelming ratings for the Hallmark Hall Of Fame film on ABC last night, the genre’s resurgence on basic cable continues. TNT has decided to extend its Mystery Movie Night franchise into the spring, greenlighting today the original movie Hornet’s Nest, an adaptation of the Patricia Cornwall novel that will star Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen. The green light for Hornet’s Nest comes ahead of the debut of the TNT Mystery Movie Night, which features original movies based on popular crime novels. The franchise is set to premiere tomorrow with Scott Turow’s Innocent and continues Wednesday with the Sandra Brown novel Ricochet, starring John Corbett, Julie Benz and Gary Cole. The series will feature six movies this month and in December before returning in the spring with Hornet’s Nest and three other movies to be announced. Hornet’s Nest, based on Cornwell’s New York Times bestseller, centers on a serial killer in Charlotte, N.C., who targets out-of-town businessmen. Police Chief Judy Hammer (Madsen) pairs her top deputy (Stringfield) with a cub reporter (Robbie Amell) to address the crisis. Michael Boatman and Michael Silver co-star. Dee Johnson (TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles) is writing the script. ER alumna Stringfield is with APA and John Carrabino.
EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Hardwicke will direct The Bitch Posse, a Tristine Skyler-scripted adaptation of the Martha O’Connor novel published in 2006 by St. Martin’s Press. The film is being produced by Miranda Bailey and Matthew Leutwyler through their Ambush Entertainment banner, which most recently produced and financed the IFC Films release Super. Also producing are Virginia Madsen and Karly Meola, whose production company Title IX optioned the book.
Hardwicke, who most recently helmed Red Riding Hood, has showed a flair for teen angst in the first Twilight, Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. Here, there is angst to spare. The book focuses on three friends, Cherry, Amy and Rennie, high school seniors who come from troubled homes and form a dangerous alliance called the Bitch Posse. Something occurs that rips apart the friendship and haunts them into adulthood. The book switches back and forth from those high school years to their adult lives where one is in a mental institution, the other is a promiscuous writer and the third suffers through a loveless marriage.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Sideways) is joining NBC’s freshman drama The Event as a recurring. The actress — who’s coming off of ABC’s summer series Scoundrels — will play Catherine Lewis, the widow of a U.S. senator from Alaska who has assumed her husband’s post. A former powerhouse attorney, the Harvard grad is determined to carry out her husband’s legacy at any cost. As Deadline told you back in November, the role was originally offered to Friday Night Lights MVP Connie Britton. The Event is currently on hiatus and is slated to return to the schedule on Feb. 28. Michael Ausiello is contributing to Deadline.com and Movieline.com as he preps for the January launch of TVLine.com, a new TV-centric website from MMC.