Emmy-award winner Debra Messing is set to star in the USA Network six-hour television event based on the New York Times best-selling 2005 novel The Starter Wife (Simon & Schuster) from author Gigi Levangie Grazer (Rescue Me, Maneater), it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president of original programming for USA. The Starter Wife will be executive produced by Grazer and penned by the writing team of Sara Parriott & Josann McGibbon (Runaway Bride), who will also serve as executive producers along with Stephanie Davis (The Caveman's Valentine) and Howard Klein (The Office, Carnivale) from 3 Arts Entertainment. NBC Universal Television Studio is producing. Laurette Hayden, senior vice president of longform programming for USA, will oversee all aspects of the project, which will begin production in Australia in fourth quarter 2006.
"Debra Messing is both a superstar talent and America's sweetheart. Her incredible range and comedic brilliance made her our first and only choice for this role," said Wachtel.
"I am thrilled that the incredibly talented, incredibly versatile Debra Messing is taking on the starring role in The Starter Wife, and I am hoping she will share her wardrobe," said Grazer.
The Starter Wife is a sexy, savvy and wickedly funny tour de force about life after divorce and one woman's (Messing) quest to redefine herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head. With wit, sassy style and cameos of the rich and famous -- and wannabe rich and famous - The Starter Wife tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style, while at the same time being relatable to everyday women.
Messing is best known for her role as interior decorator Grace Adler from Will & Grace for which she won the 2003 Emmy and recently earned a 2006 Emmy nomination. Her performance has garnered her four Golden Globe nominations, four Emmy nominations and two American Comedy Award nominations. Messing has also been seen in numerous feature films including The Wedding Date opposite Dermot Mulroney, Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, Woody Allen's comedy, Hollywood Ending, opposite Woody Allen and Tea Leoni, and The Mothman Prophecies opposite Richard Gere. She will soon be seen in Lucky You alongside Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall and Purple Violets directed by Edward Burns. Messing was also heard in the animated film "Garfield" and will soon be heard in Open Season with Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence.
Grazer worked for eight years developing and writing television shows for legendary network president and producer Fred Silverman. She also wrote the 1998 movie Stepmom starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon and has been published in numerous periodicals such as Vogue, People Magazine, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar. Her best sellers, Maneater and Rescue Me, have been optioned by Mandalay Pictures and Fox Searchlight Pictures, respectively. Grazer is currently working on her next novel, a romantic take on high-end divorce set in New York, to be published by Simon and Schuster.