Thesp also to develop own series for fall 2004

Lucy Lawless has a new role: “Kathleen, Tarzan Aunt.”

The “Xena, Warrior Princess” star has signed on to appear in the WB’s frosh drama “Tarzan.” As part of the pact, Lawless also will develop her own series with the Frog for fall 2004.

Lawless will star as Kathleen Clayton, Tarzan’s aunt and a publishing magnate who clashes with her brother (Mitch Pileggi) over how to rehabilitate their jungle-bred nephew (Travis Fimmel).

“Lucy has a tremendous sense of humor, warmth and grace,” said WB Entertainment prexy Jordan Levin. “She has a fun, larger-than-life personality that will shape the character of Kathleen Clayton as she makes it her own. That is what attracted us to her for future development.”

Lawless, who’s repped by Endeavor, Original Management and Jeanne Newman, recently cameoed in the theatrical “Spider-Man,” which coincidentally came from “Tarzan” exec producer Laura Ziskin. She spent six seasons starring in “Xena,” the firstrun syndie hit that ran from 1995-2001.

Thesp is currently working on the theatricals “The Ugly Americans” and “Boogeyman”; latter comes from “Tarzan” co-exec producer Eric Kripke.

“Tarzan,” from Warner Bros. TV, is exec produced by Ziskin, David Gerber and P.K. Simonds.

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