USA Network miniseries to debut in summer

Sigourney Weaver is making her primetime series debut as the lead in USA Network’s upcoming summer miniseries “Political Animals.”

Veteran film actress will play Elaine Barrish, a divorced former first lady and newly appointed secretary of state who throws herself into her job when her marriage falls apart and a presidential bid comes up short.

The six-episode mini from Warner Horizon Television is being exec produced by Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark. Berlanti wrote and directed the pilot.

Also starring are “Lone Star” alum James Wolk as Weaver’s son and her chief of staff, and Brittany Ishibashi as Wolk’s fiancee.

USA is hoping to turn the mini into a full-fledged dramatic series if there is a strong viewer turnout.

While co-starring in a handful of TV movies throughout her career, Weaver has never been a smallscreen staple. After starting her career on the daytime sudser “Somerset,” she quickly launched into a theatrical arc with such films as “Alien,” “The Year of Living Dangerously” and “Ghostbusters.”

Other casting for “Political Animals” is expected to be announced shortly, as production will need to begin soon to meet the summer release date.

Berlanti relocated to Warner Bros. TV last year. He’s also been busy on the feature side of the studio, helming the 2010 romantic drama “Life as We Know It” and shepherding “Green Lantern” as writer and producer.

In addition to “Political Animals,” Berlanti Prods. is fielding three drama pilots (CBS’ “Golden Boy,” Fox’s “Guilty” and CW’s “Arrow”) plus an untitled CBS comedy pilot that Berlanti co-wrote with “Friends” alum Greg Malins.

Weaver is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris and Klein.

Justin Kroll contributed to this report.

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