"Bradley Whitford will reunite with former "The West Wing" bosses Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
Whitford, who joins previously announced castmates including Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet and D.L. Hughley, will play producer-director Danny Tripp, a recovering cocaine addict who returns to run the show.
Also, Sarah Paulson ("The D.A.") will play Christian fundamentalist Harriet Hayes on the Warner Bros. TV pilot.
And in a life-imitates-art move, Timothy Busfield not only will play Cal, the control room director, on the show, but also will serve as a producing director on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
""The West Wing" co-star Bradley Whitford has reunited with the show's creator for the NBC drama pilot "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
The project, which also stars Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet, is set behind the scenes of a fictional broadcasting network's flagship late-night sketch comedy show.
Whitford will play a producer-director and recovering cocaine addict who has come back to run the sketch show he used to work for. Also joining the cast is Sarah Paulson, who plays a Christian fundamentalist, and Timothy Busfield as the control-room director.
Whitford won an Emmy in 2001 for his role as deputy chief of staff Josh on "West Wing." Paulson most recently appeared in the feature "Serenity" and on HBO's drama "Deadwood."
Busfield, who also enjoys a successful career as a TV director, also will serve as a producing director on "Studio 60." He often has collaborated with Sorkin. He starred in the Broadway run of Sorkin's "A Few Good Men"; was a director on the writer-producer's comedy for ABC, "Sports Night"; and had a recurring role on "West Wing.""
From "After Ellen" :
"Harriet is the ex-girlfriend of Perry's character, Matt, which figures heavily into the series when, in the pilot script, Matt and his writing partner Danny (Whitford) are asked to come back and take over the SNL-like show they used to write for. This forces Harriet and Matt to work together after a rather messy break-up prompted in part by Harriet's decision to go on Pat Robertson's 700 Club: Matt accuses her of pandering to a bigot, and Harriet accuses him of stereotyping Christians.
The character of Harriet is believed to be very closely based on Sorkin's ex-girlfriend Kristin Chenoweth (The West Wing, Broadway's Wicked), a devout Christian actress and singer who has been publicly supportive of gays and lesbians despite backlash from some of her Christian fans.
Based on the pilot script, at least, Harriet is funny, smart, self-confidant, and open-minded--a refreshing change from the way most Christians are portrayed on TV. Paulson as Harriet may also be the only out lesbian actress in a prominent role on primetime TV next season, now that Arrested Development's run on Fox has ended."
"Studio 60" Casting Rumors
Amanda Peet Interview and Full "Studio 60" Script
First Casting Announcements
Previous Casting Updates
Various "Studio 7" Updates
Matthew Perry Rumor
Round-Up of Info
Info on accessing the audition script.
Praise for the show