Edie Falco on the Hunt for a New Challenge as ‘Nurse Jackie’ Ends

Edie Falco is waiting for that feeling — the visceral sensation that tells her she’s found her next project.

Falco is in the market for a new TV series now that she’s wrapped her seven-season run on Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” which airs its series finale June 28. She’s been reading pilots and fielding offers for months — production on “Nurse Jackie” ended in December, after all.

“I love doing series television,” Falco says. “It’s consistent. It feels like a real job.”

She has a better sense of what she doesn’t want — nothing terribly dark, and not a straight-ahead sitcom  — more than what she might respond to. But so far, nothing has given her the telltale twinge in her gut. “I need to be moved,” she said.

Falco pulled off one of the hardest feats for a TV star by changing into scrubs as the drug-addicted Jackie Peyton in 2008, just a year after the end of her career-making run as Carmela Soprano.

“Nurse Jackie” did not achieve the cultural impact of “Sopranos,” but Falco become recognizable enough as the tough-talking nurse that it added a dimension beyond Carmela to her public image. For Falco, even the year between “Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie” felt like a long time to be out of the game.

“I’ve worked since I was 14,” Falco said. “From my vantage point, I had plenty of time (after ‘Sopranos’) to let go of Carmela and get to know somebody new.”

After the darkness of Jackie and the character’s all-consuming struggle with prescription drugs, Falco’s hoping to find something with an uplifting tone. That’s become more important to her with her children, 10 and 7, growing up.

“I’d like to put something positive out there,” Falco said. “In my real life, I’ve had people who have inspired me — I’d love to do a show about someone who can inspire people to a higher way of living.”

Falco admits that “Nurse Jackie” will be a tough act to follow. As the show’s central figure, she had a lot of sway for the first time in her career over how things were run. She would have been happy to continue with the show, if the decision had been up to her.

“We created a work environment on this show that is unrivaled in my life for the kindness and respect that we had,” she says. “It was not by accident. It worked for us, and it was magical.”

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