Tony Shalhoub Sets TV Return With CBS Comic-Thriller 'BrainDead'

Tony Shalhoub
Eric Ryan Anderson

Tony Shalhoub -- who played middle-aged Moss Hart, Moss Hart's father and George S. Kaufman in Act One -- on joining the production: "When I approach any material lately, I look for those things that seem undoable or wrong or impossible, challenging, and this just seemed, 'There is no way I could pull this off.' ... I wanted to try and see if I could do something that's a little bit outside my wheelhouse, and also the idea of being able to do three characters just felt like a good chance to fail."

Tony Shalhoub is returning to TV.

The actor, who won three Emmys for his starring role on USA detective comedy Monk, has signed on to topline CBS' comic thriller BrainDead from Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King, the network announced Thursday.

BrainDead follows a fresh-faced Capitol Hill staffer (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) getting her first job in Washington, D.C., and discovering two things: First, the government has stopped working, and second, alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of congressmen and Hill workers.

Shalhoub will play Red Wheatus, a hard-drinking, fun-loving Republican senator who has spent decades on the Hill making deals. However, a total transformation turns him into a health-conscious extremist who would rather ruin the government than compromise.

“Tony Shalhoub is funny, dramatic, subtle and broad when he needs to be,” the Kings said in a statement. “To our minds, he can play anything. We were thinking of making the character a 12-year-old blind girl hunting for her mother in Belgium to see what he did with that.”

The actor, who also won a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards for Monk, joins a cast that also includes Aaron Tveit (Grease: Live) and Danny Pino (Law & Order: SVU). BrainDead marks one of Shalhoub's first series-regular roles since Monk went off the air in 2009. In addition to the short-lived CBS comedy We Are Men, he most recently guest-starred on the final season of Showtime's Nurse Jackie.

Shalhoub is repped by ICM Partners, Mary Goldberg Management and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.

BrainDead is set to premiere this summer on CBS.