Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon Join HBO's Sarah Jessica Parker Comedy

'Divorce,' also starring 'Mad Men's' Talia Balsam, marks the 'Sex and the City' star's return to HBO.
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Thomas Haden Church and Molly Shannon

HBO is rounding out Sarah Jessica Parker's new world.

The premium cable network has tapped Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam (Mad Men) to co-star in Parker comedy Divorce, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Divorce centers on Frances, a middle-aged woman (Parker) who, influenced by her two recently single friends, impulsively brings up the idea of divorce with her husband but then can't decide whether to actually go through with it — until her husband discovers the affair she's been having and calls the marriage off.

Church will play Robert, Frances' husband, who is surprised to learn that his wife's perspective on their marriage is different than his. Divorce, should it go to series, would mark his largest TV commitment since 1995-97's Ned and Stacey and, before that, '90s hit Wings. His feature credits include his Oscar-nominated supporting turn in Sideways. He's also an Emmy nominee for his supporting turn in AMC mini Broken Trail.

See more Sarah Jessica Parker Plots 'Divorce' Comedy at HBO

Shannon is set as Diane, Frances' high-strung friend who has a successful husband, a beautiful house and no children. Shannon, who will reprise her role as Gail in Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer revival, returns to HBO with the role after earning an Emmy nomination for her guest turn in Enlightened. Her feature credits include Never Been Kissed, Hotel Transylvania and Bad Teacher.

Balsam will portray Dallas, Frances' close friend who has been both widowed and divorced. Her credits include playing Mona Sterling on Mad Men and features No Strings Attached, The Wackness and All the King's Men.

Church is repped by CAA, Viking Entertainment and Gendler & Kelly. Shannon is with UTA, Framework Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Balsam is with Gersh.

Parker will star and executive produce via her Pretty Matches Productions banner. Sharon Horgan, whose recent U.S. pilots include Fox's Dead Boss as well as ABC's Bad Management and Pulling, is on board to pen the script. Aaron Kaplan, Paul Simms (Girls, Bored to Death, Flight of the Conchords) and Pretty Matches president Alison Benson will also executive produce. Should the project move forward, Horgan will serve as showrunner, with Simms as co-showrunner. The deal marks the latest collaboration for Kapital Entertainment's Kaplan and Horgan, who are partners in joint venture Kapital International.

Divorce marks Parker's latest TV comeback. The actress had a recurring role as a magazine fashionista on Glee's fourth season and, more recently, eyed a TV return in Busted, a limited series optioned by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and packaged with Anonymous Content (True Detective).

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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