Cabler orders 13 episodes of Laura Linney drama

Showtime has given a 13-episode order to “The Big C,” its cancer-themed series starring Laura Linney.

Showtime execs are said to be extremely high on the project, which stars Linney as a suburban mother who shakes up her life after being handed a cancer diagnosis.

Cabler plans to start shooting “The Big C” this spring, for a summer 2010 launch.

In announcing the order, Showtime Entertainment prexy Bob Greenblatt called Linney “the consummate actor and producer.”

The character and her journey are complex, requiring layered nuances of comedy and drama, which I believe no one else could do better than Laura,” Greenblatt said. “And she’s surrounded by a gifted ensemble of actors who will bring this show vividly to life.”

Darlene Hunt created and wrote “The Big C,” and will exec produce with Linney, Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon. Sony Pictures TV produces with Original Film.

Bill Condon directed the pilot; the show also stars Oliver Platt as Linney’s immature husband; Gabourey Sidibe also guest stars in the pilot.

Project reps Platt’s return to Showtime, having previously starred in “Huff.” Linney also is a familiar face on Showtime, having appeared in “More Tales of the City” and “Further Tales of the City,” as well as “Wild Iris.”

Linney will next be seen in “The Details.”

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