Debra Messing to Star in Comedy Series East Wing for Starz
Starz has announced that Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Debra Messing (Will & Grace, Smash) will executive produce and star in the network’s new series in development East Wing. The half-hour comedy is created and written by Ali Wentworth (Nightcap, Jerry Maguire), who will also appear in the series alongside Messing, and Liz Tuccillo (Divorce, Sex and the City).
East Wing draws from the experiences of Ali Wentworth’s mother, who served as Social Secretary in the White House during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It tells the story of Hollis Carlisle (Messing), a hostess extraordinaire who juggles her threatened husband, rebellious children, Nancy Reagan’s Chief of Staff and a crippling social anxiety disorder. Ali will reoccur as Hollis’s best friend, Kelly Forbes, who is a stay at home mom and is threatened by Hollis’s success.
“The charm and relatability Debra brings to every character she inhabits will captivate audiences once again as she brings Hollis to life on the screen,” said Christina Davis, President, Original Programming for Starz. “This is a whip-smart comedy that despite its 1980’s set dressing, is a pointed commentary on politics and the politics of being a woman today that will be a valuable addition to our slate of premium programming by and for women. Debra, Ali, and Liz will most definitely not be pulling any punches.”
“Debra is a singular talent with whom we’ve had the honor of working in the past, and we couldn’t be more excited to reunite with Ali to bring her mother’s incredible story to viewers,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. “Ali, Debra, and Liz are shepherding a witty and empowering series right in the wheelhouse of our STARZ premium platform.”
East Wing is produced by Lionsgate and executive produced by Messing, Wentworth, Tuccillo, and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Howard Klein (The Office, The Mindy Project) and Molly Madden (The Starter Wife, Picture Perfect).
(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)