Cusack has psychiatry, 'Acceptance' in future


Joan Cusack has lined up two TV projects, devel oping a comedy at NBC set in the world of psychiatry and starring opposite Mae Whitman in the Lifetime original movie "Acceptance."

The NBC project, which she is co-creating with the network and Universal Media Studios, will be based on an original idea of Cusack's. John Markus ("The Larry Sanders Show") is serving as writer/executive producer, while Cusack will produce with Julie Yen.

"Acceptance," based on the novel by Susan Coll, is a dramedy that centers on an overachieving high school student (Whitman) dealing with the stress of her senior year and applying to college. Complicating things is the fact that her parents are splitting up, and her mother (Cusack) is focused on getting her daughter into a top school so she's better able to find a husband.

Sanaa Hamri ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2") is directing from a script by Suzette Couture (Lifetime's "The Mermaid Chair"). The movie is produced by All In Entertainment and Von Zerneck-Sertner, with Ronnie Clemmer, Sharon Cicero, Michele Samet, Bob Sertner and Frank Von Zerneck serving as executive producers.

Cusack next appears in the films "My Sister's Keeper" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic." She and Markus are repped by UTA.

Whitman most recently was in "Nights in Rodanthe" and next appears opposite Cusack's brother John Cusack in "The Factory." She is repped by APA and Artistry. (partialdiff)