Starz is developing East Wing, a half-hour comedy series starring Will & Grace alumna Debra Messing. It is created and written by Ali Wentworth (Nightcap), who will also appear in the series alongside Messing, and Liz Tuccillo (Divorce). East Wing is produced by Lionsgate and executive produced by Messing, Wentworth, Tuccillo and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Howard Klein and Molly Madden.
East Wing draws from the experiences of Wentworth’s mother, who served as Social Secretary in the White House during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It tells the story of Hollis Carlisle (Messing), a hostess extraordinaire who juggles her threatened husband, rebellious children, Nancy Reagan’s Chief of Staff and a crippling social anxiety disorder. Ali will recur as Hollis’ best friend, Kelly Forbes, who is a stay at home mom and is threatened by Hollis’ success.
“The charm and relatability Debra brings to every character she inhabits will captivate audiences once again as she brings Hollis to life on the screen,” said Christina Davis, President, Original Programming for Starz. “This is a whip-smart comedy that despite its 1980’s set dressing, is a pointed commentary on politics and the politics of being a woman today that will be a valuable addition to our slate of premium programming by and for women. Debra, Ali and Liz will most definitely not be pulling any punches.”
Messing is best known for her role as Grace Adler on NBC’s Emmy–winning comedy series, Will & Grace. She also starred in television series such as The Mysteries of Laura, Smash, The Starter Wife and Lionsgate’s TV remake of Dirty Dancing.
Wentworth created, wrote and starred in Lionsgate’s Nightcap on the Pop network. She also created, starred in and executive-produced the critically acclaimed Starz series Head Case. Her film credits include It’s Complicated, Jerry Maguire, Office Space and Trial and Error.
“Debra is a singular talent with whom we’ve had the honor of working in the past, and we couldn’t be more excited to reunite with Ali to bring her mother’s incredible story to viewers,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. “Ali, Debra and Liz are shepherding a witty and empowering series right in the wheelhouse of our Starz premium platform.”
Messing is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment, Gersh and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher. Wentworth is represented by Ted Chervin and Katie Cates at ICM Partners and Adam Kaller at Hansen Jacobson. Tuccillo is represented by Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson.
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