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Debra Winger will get shrunk on 'In Treatment,' a cache of acting talent

Winger Intensive psychotherapy might unleash a lot of demons, but it's certainly brought out beautiful, nuanced erformances on HBO's "In Treatment." Debra Winger will be the next star to plop on the shrink's couch and, if the series' history is any indicator, remind us why we fell in love with her in the first place.

The show, starting production on season 3 this summer for airing next year, has used a lineup of veterans, newcomers and guests who spill their guts to Gabriel Byrne's character, Dr. Paul Weston.

With a roster that has included Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest as Paul's therapist, indie darling Hope Davis and Emmy nominee John Mahoney, there's been every expectation of solid performances. But who knew that Embeth Davidtz and Josh Charles (in his pre-"Good Wife" days) would be so compelling as a married couple caught in a vicious co-dependent spiral? Or that veteran character actor Glynn Turman, who had his first real break in the business as Preach in the seminal 1975 feature, "Cooley High," could muster a chilling, destructive father role so memorable that he'd beat Robin Williams, Stanley Tucci and several other heavyweights for the Emmy in 2008?

The show's strength in casting has been front-and-center from the beginning, giving Australian unknown Mia Wasikowska one of her first major roles as the suicidal high school gymnast, Sophie. The teenager recently starred in Disney's mega-hit "Alice in Wonderland," has a part in the indie feature "The Kids Are All Right" and will play the title character in an adaptation of "Jane Eyre."

Oscar nominee Winger, who made a "Law & Order" guest appearance recently and co-starred in "Rachel Getting Married," is known to be picky about her work. On "In Treatment," she'll play a waning star who's worried about the future of her career.

HBO execs said there's been no other casting news, but that the characters will be all new this season. Byrne will be the only returning cast member.

-- T.L. Stanley

Photo: Debra Winger. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman/For The Times.


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