Showtime adds to 'Borgias,' 'Big C' casts

8:00 PM PST 06/10/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

THR EXCLUSIVE

Showtime has signed two big-screen veterans to play key roles on upcoming series.

The premium network has cast Joanne Whalley as the female lead in its Renaissance crime drama "The Borgias" and Brian Cox for a role in its late-summer comedy "The Big C."

English actress Whalley will star opposite Jeremy Irons as Vanossa, mother of the Borgia children who were fathered by Rodrigo Borgia (Irons) before he became one of history's most infamous popes. Vanossa once was a courtesan with a disreputable past.

Whalley has played several roles on the small screen, including the title character in the 1994 TV miniseries "Scarlett" and the 2000 TV movie "Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis."

Meanwhile, Cox will appear in an unspecified number of episodes on "Big C" as lead Laura Linney's father. The actor has been a steady performer in movies and TV, with recent small-screen efforts including roles in "Deadwood" and "Kings."

"Big C" is set to premiere Aug. 16 after the sixth-season debut of "Weeds." "Borgias" premieres next year.
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