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Glenn Close's Legal "Damages" Ordered By FX

You do not want to mess with Patty Hewes, an avenging litigator who is as ruthless as she is icy. Just think of Anna Wintour (or fictional Miranda Priestley) in a power suit with a law degree and a bulldog approach to winning every case and you've approximated the character. But you haven't see anything yet.

I'm talking of course of the latest character legendary actress Glenn Close will play and it is an amazingly meaty role. I was surprised that Close would again choose television (following her stint on The Shield) over feature films, but when she signed on for an untitled legal drama pilot at FX, I knew that the stars had aligned in some way.

FX has now ordered the legal drama to series, picking up 13 episodes of the series, now titled Damages, for a slated late summer launch. The series, created by Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, stars Close as the aforementioned Hewes, Rose Byrne (I Capture the Castle, Marie Antoinette) as Ellen, a young associate who is taken under Hewes' wing, Tate Donovan as a partner at the firm, Ted Danson as a villainous corporate CEO (whom Hewes has targeted), and Zeljko Ivanek (Lost) as Danson's wily attorney.

I will say that the script for Damages, which is being produced by Sony for FX, was easily the single best drama script out of the bunch this pilot season, completely transforming my notions of what a legal drama could or should be. (I'm not usually a fan of the genre and this captivated my attention like no other drama script in recent memory.)

Forget words like "courtroom," "tort," or, hell, "due process." I don't want to give away any spoilers (Damages' pilot script is a dense nest of plot twists and turns) but I will say that there is nothing quite like this on television and it's a highly intelligent, ambitious project that I knew would be ordered to series. (With a script this good and a cast that amazing, what network would say no?)

The series will resume production in New York in May and will hopefully be on the air sooner rather than later. I know this is one show that I will not miss, under pain of death.

In other news, FX has not yet decided the fate of Dirt, which wrapped up its run last week (the net is said to be happy with "cumulative ratings" of the series), or that of the critically acclaimed current series The Riches. Personally, I'm hoping for a cancellation of the former and a big, fat renewal of the latter.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Dateline (NBC); Gilmore Girls (CW); George Lopez/According to Jim (ABC); American Idol (FOX)

9 pm: The Unit (CBS); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search of the Next Doll (CW); Dancing with the Stars (ABC); House (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: American Idol.

The nine remaining contestants compete after getting coached by music icon Tony Bennett.

8 pm: Gilmore Girls.

I've given up on this once-great drama, but for the few of you out there still watching, here's what's going on. On tonight's repeat episode ("I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia"), Lorelai and Rory wait at the hospital by Richard's side following his heart attack and receive an unexpected visitor while Christopher won't return Lorelai's calls. Yawn.


Anonymous said…
I read the pilot script and it was f***ing brilliant. FX is doing some really interesting stuff lately. "Dirt" was a disappointment but I'm enjoying "The Riches" and I can't wait for "Damages" now, especially with that stellar cast.
Anonymous said…
I tried to watch The Riches but I gave up in episode 2. I didn't have any reason to root for any of the characters, they were all so annoying. For those of you who have seen it: does it get better? Should I give it another shot?
Anonymous said…
I cannot wait to see this show. Close is brilliant at everything she does and I fell in love with Rose Byrne in I Capture the Castle. Any chance of getting a sneak peek at the script?
Anonymous said…
Yes, it should be a great series! I just finished some background work for it, and I've written a bit about the experience in my online journal/blog.

Mostly it's about what it's like to be a background actor and a bit about my experience on the set of "Damages" in New York City.

~ ViSit:
my myspace page

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