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TCA: Showtime picks up Edie Falco (Take that, HBO!)

July 18, 2008 |  5:26 pm


Riding high off a successful year and a slew of Emmy nominations, Showtime executives today announced an assortment of new pickups and renewals:

• Edie Falco, best known for her role on a certain HBO show, is joining rival Showtime as the lead of a new series tentatively titled “Nurse Jackie.” Falco plays a New York City nurse with a painkiller addiction. That may sound familiar, but Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt said it’s nothing like a certain other program on Fox.

“It’s fundamentally about who she is as a character,” he said. “It isn’t the most high-concept idea, but I don’t think you’ve ever quite seen a nurse like this. It’s not going to be case-driven. It’s not going to be the big medical story of the week.”

The drama starts production in the fall and will be on the air by spring or early summer.

• The network is developing a spinoff to the “The L Word,” which wraps its final season this year.

• A six-episode reality show/documentary called “Lock 'N Load,” which profiles a gun store in rural Colorado and the varied customers it draws, joins the schedule in 2009.

Another major addition to Showtime’s lineup this year: “The United States of Tara,” a comedy about a suburban mom with a multiple personality disorder that stars Toni Collette. The show, which goes into production in September, will air right after the first of the year.

Greenblatt also said that he has renewed the series from comedians Penn & Teller for its seventh season, making it the longest-running show on the network. It will return in 2009. In addition, Showtime picked up two more 13-episode season of “Weeds.”

-- Matea Gold