'Sopranos' star set for half-hour comedy

Edie Falco will topline a half-hour single camera comedy for Showtime and Lionsgate Television.

Cabler has put the project on a fast track, with pre-production beginning immediately and lensing expected to start in New York later this year.

Thesp will play an iron-willed Gotham nurse balancing the challenges of work in an urban hospital and a difficult personal life. Deal comes in the wake of Falco’s well-reviewed comic guest stint opposite Alec Baldwin on NBC’s “30 Rock.”

Showtime Entertainment prexy Bob Greenblatt said he first met last summer with Falco, who was interested in finding another series after HBO’s “The Sopranos” wrapped.

“She was very careful and thoughtful in making sure it was the right thing,” he said. “She’s coming off something that in the annals of TV history will be considered one of the greatest shows ever. We had this script, and it wasn’t quite right, yet we loved the concept and character. There were things about the script she wanted to think about.”

Project was rewritten and developed with Falco in mind; Greenblatt said the thesp loved the draft and committed to it soon after.

Falco added that, post-“Sopranos,” she had been looking to find “something else that would excite me. This character and the writing are truly thrilling.”

Pilot was written by Linda Wallem (“That ’70s Show”) and Liz Brixius, who will both exec produce and act as showrunners, and Evan Dunsky. Caryn Mandabach will also exec produce, while Richie Jackson is aboard as co-exec producer.

Showtime and Lionsgate are comparing the as-yet-untitled project to the cabler’s signature laffer, “Weeds.” In addition to focusing on the personal life of Falco’s character, skein will offer “a darkly comedic view of a health care system gone awry,” cabler said.

Falco isn’t the first HBO thesp to jump to Showtime.

Michael C. Hall, who broke through on HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” now stars in Showtime’s “Dexter.” And Tracey Ullman, who’s had a decades-long relationship with HBO, begins a Showtime sketch skein next month.

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