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TV: Series Pick-Ups for Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Octavia Spencer, Gabourey Sidibe

Women and Hollywood By Inkoo Kang | Women and Hollywood May 7, 2014 at 4:00PM

Also Taraji P. Henson, Tasha Smith, Casey Wilson, and Anna Friel.
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Red Band Society

With the fall television season just four months away, here are some of the new women-starring network shows that have been confirmed to air: 

--Red Band Society (Fox). After the Murder, She Wrote reboot fell through, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer quickly found a new TV project in this remake of a Spanish series about a group of ill adolescents who meet and befriend one another in a hospital. Spencer plays a nurse who brings a tough-love approach to the ward. 

In an exclusive quote to Women and Hollywood, Red Band Society creator and Executive Producer Margaret Nagle said,

"My first memories of life were in a hospital because my older brother was in a coma when I was little. I spent years playing there like it was my playground. Red Band's not a hospital show or a teen show. It's a show about being alive. The approach is decidedly unsentimental and funny. The cast is diverse and will become even more so as we move into series. Narrated by a kid named Charlie in a coma, the show takes an honest view of the weirdness of life. Because when you're a teen in a hospital life doesn't stop. Life starts."

--State of Affairs (NBC). Katherine Heigl returns to TV in this White House thriller that's been described as a cross between Scandal and The West Wing. The Knocked Up actress will play a CIA adviser to the president (Alfre Woodard), whose deceased son was Heigl's character's fiancee. Woodard will be the first female, and first African American female to play the President of the United States as a recurring character in a TV show. 

--Empire (Fox). Taraji P. Henson heads a "who's who" cast of black actors, including Gabourey Sidibe and Tasha Smith, in Lee Daniels' hip-hop soap opera Empire. Daniels has stated that the show will explore what it's like to go from extreme poverty to riches beyond measure. Henson plays the ex-wife of a powerful producer. 

--Marry Me (NBC). Casey Wilson stars in this single-cam sitcom about a just-engaged woman and her fiancee (Ken Marino) who realize that a serious relationship is much harder than it looks. They decide to get de-engaged and put their lives together until they're ready for him to put that ring back on her finger.

--Odyssey (NBC). Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) is one of three fulcrums in this Traffic-like ensemble drama from creators Adam Armus and Kay Foster. Friel plays a disillusioned soldier who becomes a pawn in a military conspiracy. 

This article is related to: Katherine Heigl, Octavia Spencer, Alfre Woodard, Television, State of Affairs, Empire, Red Band Society, Odyssey, Marry Me, Margaret Nagle, Gabourey Sidibe, Taraji P. Henson, Tasha Smith, Casey Wilson, Anna Friel


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