Showtime closer to Spielberg series

Network announces upcoming pilot

Showtime is a step closer to airing a series from Steven Spielberg.

Pay net said at TCA Saturday that it has greenlit the pilot for “The United States of Tara,” a halfhour comedy about a woman with multiple-personality disorder which is based on a Spielberg idea and is produced by his DreamWorks Television.

Justin Cody will write and Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank will exec produce the show, about an afflicted suburban mother whose personality veers from a Martha Stewart domestic to a male biker to a sex-happy teenage girl. Showtime execs described it as “Weeds” meets “Cybil.”

Production on the pilot will begin in the fall.

Project, which had first been reported by Daily Variety (March 15) as being in development, is still in need of an actor to play the part of the main character.

But Showtime entertainment prexy Robert Greenblatt said in an interview that the net was getting closer to landing the lead, with several theatrical-level stars under consideration.

Greenblatt declined to offer odds on a full series pickup but did hint at its favorable prospects. “It’s a lot more likely now that we have the pilot,” he said.

Also at TCA, Showtime pulled the wraps off a number of upcoming series, including another comedy, David Duchovny-starrer “Californication,” which is set to debut August 13. Panel also featured Mary-Kate Olsen, who turned in a somnolent performance at a panel promoting the upcoming season of “Weeds.”

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