Michelle Pfeiffer to Channel Katie Couric for TV Comedy

Clemens Bilan/Getty Images
Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Michelle Pfeiffer may soon be the latest movie star to transition to the small screen. The actress is reportedly teaming with Katie Couric on a new potential comedy series about a fictional morning news program.

As Variety describes, the show would reportedly star Pfeiffer as a morning television anchor, not unlike Couric’s old gig as a host on NBC’s Today Show. The series would take a comedic look at the behind-the-scenes happenings of the morning television news business. Couric is attached to serve as an executive producer on the project. Though the developing series won’t be directly based on her life, she will presumably lend her decade-plus worth of experience to help add some authenticity to the project.

The show hails from Diane English, who is familiar with capturing the inner workings of TV news operations on the small screen. She was also the creator of the CBS series Murphy Brown, which starred Candice Bergen as a news anchor and ran from 1988 to 1998. Since the end of the sitcom, she’s been mostly absent from the industry, other than to pen and direct the 2008 comedy drama, The Women. Now, English is set to serve as writer, producer and showrunner on the Pfeiffer project. Meanwhile, Television 360’s Guymon Casady and Suzan Bymel are on board as co-executive producers, as are Two and a Half Men’s Eric and Kim Tannenbaum.

While the show certainly seems to have potential (especially with big names like Pfeiffer and Couric attached), the project isn’t a done deal yet. Per Variety, Pfeiffer, Couric, and English will be pitching the series to different outlets this week. The project will reportedly be taken out to a variety of cable channels and streaming services, including HBO, Showtime, AMC, Netflix, and Amazon.

The series isn’t the only recent project inspired by the TV news business. HBO completed its three-season run of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom earlier this year. According to Variety, Lifetime is also developing its own similarly themed project, with a TV movie based on the 2013 book Top of the Morning, written by CNN’s Brian Stelter and chronicling the true story of the battles between broadcast morning shows.

Should it move forward, the project would mark the first ever starring role in a TV series for Pfeiffer. The Oscar-nominated actress frequently appeared in several small screen movies and shows early on in her career, with roles on shows like Delta House, CHiPs, and the 1980’s crime series B.A.D. Cats. But the star has stuck to film for over a decade, with her most recent credit being 2013’s Luc Bessondirected The Family.

It’s not a surprise that she would choose now to make the transition. The move comes just as a long line of other film stars have made the jump to the small screen. Big names like Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Jane Fonda, and James Franco have all been lured to television in recent years (for CBS’s Extant, ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, HBO’s True Detective, Netflix’s upcoming Grace & Frankie, and Hulu’s 11/22/63, respectively). Whether Pfeiffer will soon join their ranks with her own TV gig depends on whether one of the channels or streaming services picks the series up, so viewers will have to stay tuned.

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