Messing Named 'Starter' for USA

TelevisionEntertainmentDebra MessingUSA Network (tv network)Brian GrazerCurtis Hanson

Debra Messing hasn't wasted much time finding her first TV project after the end of "Will & Grace."

The Emmy-winning actress will keep it in the NBC Universal family, starring in USA Network's miniseries "The Starter Wife." She'll play the title character in the six-hour project, which is based on the best-selling novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer.

"Debra Messing is both a superstar talent and America's sweetheart," says Jeff Wachtel, USA's head of original programming. "Her incredible range and comedic brilliance made her our first and only choice for this role."

"The Starter Wife" follows a woman's quest to recalibrate her life after her movie-mogul husband divorces her. (In a bit of life imitating art, Grazer and her husband, A-list producer Brian Grazer, separated for a few months earlier this year but have since reconciled.) USA says the miniseries "tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style, while at the same time being relatable to everyday women."

Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon ("Runaway Bride") are adapting the novel and will executive produce with Grazer, Stephanie Davis and Howard Klein. Filming is scheduled to start in the fall in Australia.

Messing has earned five Emmy nominations for playing Grace Adler on "Will & Grace" and won the award for best actress in a comedy in 2003. Her film credits include "The Wedding Date," "Hollywood Ending" and "Along Came Polly." She'll next be seen in the Curtis Hanson-directed "Lucky You," which hits theaters next month.

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