By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com June 1, 2011 at 1:34AM
They say there's no such thing as a job for life these days, but the cast of NBC's long-running procedural "Law & Order" must have thought they had the closest thing to one until the show was canceled last year, on the verge of its 20th season. But rather than slipping quietly away into retirement, 70-year-old Sam Waterston, who played District Attorney Jack McCoy on the show for a whopping sixteen years, across 368 episodes, has just booked a new gig, and he couldn't have asked for one with a better pedigree.
Deadline reports that Waterston has joined the cast of Aaron Sorkin's new HBO pilot, which has the working title "More As This Story Develops." The veteran actor will play Charles Skinner, the president of the news division at the cable network which serves as the focus of the story. Waterston joins Jeff Daniels, as anchorman Will McCallister, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" star Alison Pill, who plays a young producer, and presenter-turned-actress Olivia Munn, who plays a financial reporter. "Superbad" helmer Greg Mottola is directing the pilot, and it appears that negotiations are still ongoing for Emily Mortimer to play the female lead, an executive producer brought on to the show by Waterston.
We have to admit that Waterston's addition is only the latest piece of casting that's excited us about this one: the actor hasn't had much chance to stretch his wings in the last couple of decades, but in his 70s/80s heyday, he turned in terrific performances in "The Great Gatsby," "The Killing Fields" and as something of a Woody Allen regular, cropped up in "Interiors," "September" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors." He's a fine fit for the part, and we look forward to seeing what he can do with Sorkin's dialogue.