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Catherine Zeta-Jones to Star in Facebook Watch Series ‘Queen America’ From Paul Lee’s New Studio

Catherine Zeta-Jones has signed on to play the lead role in a new Facebook Watch series titled “Queen America,” Variety has learned.

The half-hour series, which has received a 10-episode straight-to-series-order, is described as a dark comedy set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It revolves around Vicki Ellis (Zeta-Jones), the most renowned and ruthless pageant coach in the state, and the hapless Samantha Stone, who hopes Vicki can mold her into worthwhile contender for the title of Miss America. Vicki is desperately sought after by young women competing to be Miss America for one reason; she can turn any girl into a winner. But when she gets paired with the beautiful but unpolished Samantha, Vicki’s entire reputation might be at stake.

Zeta-Jones most recently starred in the Lifetime movie “Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story.” She also appeared as Olivia de Havilland in the first season of the Ryan Murphy anthology series “Feud.” She won an Oscar for best supporting actress for her work in the 2002 film adaptation of the hit musical “Chicago” and is also known for her roles in films like “Traffic,” “Entrapment,” “Intolerable Cruelty,” and “The Mask of Zorro.”

She is repped by WME and Management 360.

The series is created, written, and executive produced by Meaghan Oppenheimer. Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea and Casey Haver, and Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady and Suzan Bymel will also executive produce alongside Janice Williams. It also marks the first straight-to-series order for wiip, the new independent studio launched and led by veteran television executive Paul Lee. Made Up Stories will serve as wiip’s co-studio partner.

“I’m so excited to be making this show, set in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma — and beyond grateful to be partnered again with Bruna Papandrea, who has championed this project from its earliest stages and proven to be one of the biggest supporters of women in the industry,” said Oppenheimer. “We have been very lucky to have found such great collaborators in wiip, Entertainment 360, and Facebook. To have one of my favorite actresses, Catherine Zeta-Jones, bringing this character to life is a dream come true.”

In addition to her work as an actress, Oppenheimer also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2015 Zac Efron film “We Are Your Friends.” On the TV side, she has written for “Fear the Walking Dead” and created the ABC pilot “Broken” in 2016, which was executive produced by Papandrea. She is repped by CAA and Management 360.

Papandrea serves as an executive producer on the hit HBO series “Big Little Lies.” She will also executive produce the upcoming HBO series “The Undoing” starring and executive produced by “Big Little Lies'” Nicole Kidman and the series “Deadlier than the Male” at TNT.

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