Sela Ward has been cast as the female lead opposite Nick Nolte on Epix’s 10-episode original single-camera comedy series GravesShe succeeds Susan Sarandon, who originally was attached to play the role but pulled out “due to artistic differences.”

Written on spec by Joshua Michael Stern, who brought Nolte aboard early on, Graves is a political satire Epix logothat centers on former U.S. president Richard Graves (Nolte) who has an epiphany two decades after leaving office, realizing that some of his policies have brought damage to the country. He embarks on a quest to right the wrongs just as his wife, Margaret Graves (Ward), decides to follow her own political ambitions and pursue a career in politics. 

Stern executive produces with Greg Shapiro. Production on the Lionsgate-produced series begins October 14 in New Mexico. The premiere is slated for fall 2016.

“Sela Ward is a gifted talent who has the presence and attitude to bring the character of Margaret and her story to life,” said Epix President and CEO Mark S. Greenberg. Added Kevin Beggs, Chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, “Known for playing characters with strength, humor and grace, Sela will be a formidable political player and wife to Nick Nolte’s former president in one of Epix’s first original series.”

Ward is segueing to playing a former first lady from playing the U.S. president in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence, which she recently completed. Ward also recently was seen in Gone Girl. On TV, she won Emmys for Sisters and Once And Again and also had roles on CSI: NY and House. She is repped by Gersh.

Co-starring with Nolte and Ward in Graves are Skylar Astin, Heléne Yorke, Chris Lowell, Callie Hernandez, Ernie Hudson, Roger Bart and Angélica Maria.