4:28pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Nia Vardalos Joins Epix Comedy 'Graves' (Exclusive)
Epix scripted comedy Graves has enlisted Nia Vardalos.
The My Big Fat Greek Wedding star has boarded the cast of the political satire, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Vardalos takes on the role after producers and Anne Heche could not reach a deal for the part.
Picked up straight-to-series, the single-camera comedy stars Nick Nolte as a former president of the U.S. Two decades after his term ends, he begins to think that his policies have damaged the country for decades, so he goes on a Don Quixote-like journey to fix things.
Sela Ward will take over the part of Margaret Graves that originally went to Susan Sarandon, who exited the series after creative differences. Here's the character description: "Margaret Graves, who begins to pursue her political aspirations when her husband decides to right the wrongs of his administration 20 years after leaving office."
Vardalos will play the recurring role of Annie Spiro, a top political consultant with a killer instinct who is hired to manage Margaret's potential Senate campaign. The duo share a history: Margaret gave Annie her first job and despite their bond, Annie has to understand that Margaret's first loyalty is to her husband.
Production is under way in New Mexico on the 10-episode series, which was delayed a few weeks during the search to replace Sarandon. The series is expected to premiere in the fall 2016. Produced by Lionsgate Television, Graves co-stars Pitch Perfect's Skylar Astin, Veronica Mars' Chris Lowell and Sea of Dreams' Angelica Maria. Roger Bart and Ernie Hudson recur. Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) created the comedy and will write, direct and executive produce the series. Oscar-winning producer Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker) also exec produces.
Vardalos (My Life in Ruins) is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment.