Actor joins series about a familial empire of televangelists
David Strathairn is in final negotiations to headline the Showtime pilot “Paradise.”Show marks Strathairn’s third partnering with the cabler, having also appeared in the telefilms “Evidence of Blood” and “Beyond the Call.” “Paradise” is one of the last pilots greenlit by former Showtime production prexy Jerry Offsay before recently departing the cabler. Series tells the story of a familial empire of televangelists on the order of Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell. Norman Steinberg (“Doctor Doctor”) and Richard Christian Matheson (“Amazing Stories”) are exec producers. Strathairn would play the head of the evangelist clan, an astronaut-turned-preacher on the brink of crisis. Gersh- and Ryan Entertainment-repped Strathairn’s last forays into television include the CBS crime drama “Big Apple” and the A&E telepics “Lathe of Heaven” and “The Miracle Worker.” Other TV work includes the CBS mini “Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story” and HBO’s 1997 telefilm “In the Gloaming.” Thesp most recently appeared as a fraudulent English teacher in the independent feature “Blue Car,” which unspooled at last year’s Sundance film festival. Film credits include “Harrison’s Flowers,” “A Map of the World” and John Sayles’ “Limbo.” Strathairn is next set to star alongside Ashley Judd in Paramount’s “The Blackout Murders,” written and directed by Philip Kaufman.