Showtime has given a 12-episode order to half-hour comedy series The United States of Tara starring Toni Collette (pictured right) as a wife and mother who suffers from disassociative identity disorder. John Corbett also stars as Tara’s husband. The pilot was written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) who will stay on as a writer and one of the series executive producers along with Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
The full press release follows after the jump.
Showtime Pledges Allegiance to THE UNITED STATES OF TARA
NEW COMEDY SERIES STARRING TONI COLLETTE GREENLIT FOR TWELVE EPISODES SERIES EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG, DREAMWORKS TELEVISION AND ACADEMY AWARD(R)-WINNING WRITER OF JUNO
LOS ANGELES, June 4 — Showtime Networks has fast-tracked the pickup of THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, a new 12 episode half-hour comedy series starring Academy Award(R)-nominated actress Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”) as a wife and mother who suffers from disassociative identity (formerly multiple personality) disorder, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment for Showtime. The comedy series, a co-production of Dreamworks Television and Showtime Networks, will delve into how a dysfunctional family, including Tara’s working husband played by John Corbett (“Sex and the City”), copes with the various identities that may appear on any given day and range in age, temperament and even gender.
Academy Award(R)-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”), who wrote the pilot, will continue to serve as a writer and one of the series executive producers along with Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank of Dreamworks Television, and Alexa Junge. The pilot was directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl”).
“SHOWTIME is known as the home of several shows featuring flawed main characters, and we welcome Tara — and all her alternate personalities — to the fold,” said Greenblatt. “What a pleasure to watch Diablo Cody and Toni Collette work together, a combination of inspired writing and acting that raises this show from just a curiosity to a compelling examination of a modern family. It is our distinct pleasure to also work with Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, and all the talented people at Dreamworks Television.”
THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, which will begin production in Los Angeles this summer, marks the 11th primetime series to join SHOWTIME’s impressive lineup of original programming, including The Tudors, Dexter, Weeds, Californication, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Brotherhood, This American Life, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, and The L Word.
Toni Collette is an Academy Award(R)-nominated actress known for starring in a variety of intriguingly diverse film roles. She made an indelible impression on Hollywood with her unforgettable performance in “Muriel’s Wedding,” earning her first Golden Globe(R) nomination. She then went on to star in “The Sixth Sense” for which she earned an Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Collette’s most recent memorable role was in “Little Miss Sunshine,” for which she received the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and was nominated for a Golden Globe(R). That same year, Collette garnered an additional Golden Globe(R) nomination for the miniseries “Tsunami: The Aftermath.” Most recently, Collette starred in last summer’s “Evening” alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson, and will top line the upcoming “Towelhead,” a controversial and highly anticipated Alan Ball film that debuted at the 32nd Annual Toronto Film Festival last fall.
John Corbett became known to television audiences for his performance in the series “Northern Exposure.” He is most recognized for his performance as Aidan Shaw in the hit series “Sex and the City.” He also starred in the series “Lucky.” Corbett’s feature film credits include “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Raise Your Voice,” and “Raising Helen.” He will soon be seen in “I Hate Valentine’s Day” and “Baby on Board.”
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(TM), SHOWTIME 2 HD(TM), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(TM), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM) and FLIX ON DEMAND(R). SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks(TM), a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution which recently launched SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL(TM). All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV(R).
DreamWorks Television is a division of DreamWorks SKG which was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. DreamWorks Television is currently in production on seasons five and six of “Rescue Me” on FX, season one of the reality series “Wedding Day” for TNT and the pilot for the ABC comedy “Single with Parents” starring Alyssa Milano, Beau Bridges and Annie Potts. In the longform arena, DreamWorks Television and co-production partner Playtone are in post production on “The Pacific” for HBO. The division previously produced the Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) nominated “Into The West” for TNT as well as the Emmy(R) Award winning “Taken” for the SciFi Channel. Other past DreamWorks Television projects include: “SpinCity,” “Band of Brothers,” “Father of the Pride,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “The Job,” “Boomtown,” “Undeclared,” “Carpoolers,” “The Contender” and “Las Vegas.”