Courteney Cox has been tapped as the lead in Shining Vale, Starz’s horror-comedy pilot from Divorce creator Sharon Horgan and Trial & Error co-creator Jeff Astrof. Dearbhla Walsh (The Handmaid’s Tale, Traitors) is set to direct the pilot for half-hour comedy is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Lionsgate in association with Astrof’s Other Shoe Productions, Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
Written by Astrof from a story by him and Horgan, Shining Vale stems from an idea by Kaplan. The horror-comedy is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Pat (Cox), who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same.
Cox’s Patricia “Pat” Phelps is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a raunchy, drug-and-alcohol-soaked women’s empowerment novel (aka lady porn). Fast-forward 17 years, and Pat is clean and sober but totally unfulfilled. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband, and her teenage kids are at that stage where they love their vile friends and want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one slip-up: a torrid 15-night stand with a hot, young artist/handyman/musician neighbor. In a last-ditch effort to save her marriage, she and her family move from the “crazy” of the city to a large, old house in the suburbs where evil and humor collide.
Horgan and Mountford executive produce via Merman alongside Astrof through his Other Shoe Productions and Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor. Walsh exec produces the pilot.
“As Starz continues to expand its slate of original comedy series, we are incredibly proud to bring a talented actress such as Courteney Cox to the network to topline Shining Vale,” said Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch, who was instrumental in bringing the project to the network. “Her previous success in the genre combined with her well-honed comedic chops make her the ideal actor to bring Pat to life.”
This is the second project headlined by a Friends alumna for Horgan and Kapital this year, joining the recently picked up Fox animated series Housebroken, starring Lisa Kudrow.
In addition to her signature role as Monica on Friends, Cox headlined ABC’s Cougar Town. She serves as an executive producer and host on Facebook Watch’s documentary series, 9Months with Courteney Cox via her Hopper Productions banner and Ample Entertainment, which is currently filming its second season to air in 2020.
Cox, who, along with the rest of the Friends cast, recently signed on to do an unscripted reunion special for HBO Max, is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.