Martin Freeman, Alex Karpovsky Join 'Angelyne' Limited Series at Peacock (Exclusive)

The drama, based on a Hollywood Reporter article, stars Emmy Rossum as the L.A. billboard icon.
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Martin Freeman (left), Alex Karpovsky

The cast of the Angelyne limited series at Peacock is taking shape.

Martin Freeman and Girls alum Alex Karpovsky will recur in the series, which traces the life of the Los Angeles billboard icon (played by Emmy Rossum) and is based on a 2017 Hollywood Reporter story by Gary Baum. Jefferson Hall, Charlie Rowe, Lukas Gage, Michael Angarano and Molly Ephraim will also recur.

Former Shameless star Rossum plays the title character of the project, which is about fame, identity, survival, billboards, Corvettes, lingerie, men, women, women teasing men, men obsessed with women, West Hollywood, crystals, UFOs and, most importantly of all, the self-proclaimed Rorschach test in pink, glow-in-the-dark queen of the universe, Angelyne. 

Baum's investigative feature revealed for the first time that Angelyne's real name is Renee Goldberg. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, she was born in Poland in 1950 to parents who were among the 500 to survive out of a town of 13,000. Her parents were sent to concentration camps before escaping to America and settling in L.A.'s Fairfax District. After Angelyne's mother died in 1965, her father remarried another Holocaust survivor and the family moved to Panorama City, where she attended high school. While her paper trail ends there, Angelyne soon reinvented herself as a blonde bombshell, famous simply for being famous, by appearing on billboards in L.A. and driving a pink Corvette around Hollywood. 

The limited series is the first scripted television adaptation of a Hollywood Reporter article since the publication's reinvention as a weekly magazine and home for longform journalism.

Freeman (Black Panther, FX's upcoming Breeders) will play the owner of a printing company who partners with Angelyne on her early billboard campaigns. Karpovsky will play a character based on Baum, the THR journalist who broke the story about Angelyne's past.

Hall (Vikings, FX on Hulu's Devs) will play the president of the Angelyne Fan Club and a confidant of Angelyne's going back to the 1980s. Rowe (Rocketman, CBS' Salvation) plays the photographer behind some of Angelyne's most famous billboard images. Gage (HBO's Euphoria) plays a filmmaker working on a documentary about Angelyne. Angarano (This Is Us) plays a mysterious man from Angelyne's past, and Ephraim (Last Man Standing) will play a young star of an '80s sitcom who finds herself growing up in Angelyne's shadow.

Freeman is repped by CAM and CAA; Karpovsky is with WME and Underground; Hall is repped by Gersh, Alchemy Entertainment and Denton Brierley; Rowe is with CAA, ARG and Felker Toczek; Gage is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, Anonymous Content and Goodman Genow; Angarano is with UTA and Lighthouse Management & Media; and Ephraim is repped by UTA and MGMT Entertainment.

Angelyne hails from Universal Content Productions, where Rossum has a first-look deal. She is executive producing via her Composition 8 production company along with her husband, Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, via Esmail Corp. Esmail's manager, Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content, is also exec producing along with The Hollywood Reporter, Allison Miller and Lucy Tcherniak (The End of the F---ing World). Baum will be a consultant on the series.

Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming platform, is set to launch on April 15 for subscribers to Comcast's Xfinity service and on July 15 to the wider public. Angelyne is one of 15 original scripted series greenlit for the platform, which will also feature library content including The Office, six shows from Dick Wolf's Law & Order and Chicago franchises, Cheers, Friday Night Lights and a host of other series.