Sam Waterston Joins Netflix's Jane Fonda-Lily Tomlin Comedy (Exclusive)

Sam Waterston
Joe Pugliese

Waterston, who plays ACN chief Charlie Skinner and is a self-professed news junkie, says, “Really what we represent is the aspirational hopes of a lot of people who are in the [news] business."

Netflix is staging a Newsroom reunion.

The Newsroom's Sam Waterston will co-star in the streaming service's 13-episode comedy Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The single-camera comedy centers on nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married. The women, much to their dismay, find that their lives are permanently intertwined and, much to their surprise, find they have each other. It comes as Netflix looks to push further into comedy, as original content vp Cindy Holland noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

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Waterston will play Sol, Frankie's husband, who has been keeping a secret from Frankie for 20 years. That changes when he announces he's gay and has been having a secret affair with his law partner, Robert (Martin Sheen), since 1994. And now that it's legally an option, they want to get married.

Grace and Frankie is slated for a 2015 debut and is written and created by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris (TBS' Sullivan & Son, According to Jim, Home Improvement). Kauffman, Morris, Paula Weinstein, Fonda, Tomlin and Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross are on board to executive produce. Tate Taylor (The Help) also serves as executive producer and will direct the first episode.

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For Waterston, the role comes as he's poised to wrap up his run as Charlie Skinner on HBO's The Newsroom, which was renewed for its third and final season at the premium cabler. The casting reunites Waterston with Fonda, who had a recurring role on The Newsroom. Repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment, Waterston starred on the Law & Order flagship series from 1994 to 2010.

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