The series hails from writers and creators Ali Wentworth and Liz Tuccillo, with Wentworth also set to star alongside Messing. The show is inspired by Wentworth’s mother, who who served as Social Secretary in the White House during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It tells the story of Hollis Carlisle (Messing), a hostess extraordinaire who juggles her threatened husband, rebellious children, Nancy Reagan’s Chief of Staff and a crippling social anxiety disorder. Ali will reoccur as Hollis’ best friend, Kelly Forbes, a stay at home mom who is threatened by her friend’s success.
Messing will executive produce in addition to starring, with Wentworth and Tuccillo also executive producing along with Howard Klein of 3 Arts and Molly Madden. Lionsgate Television will produce.
“The charm and relatability Debra brings to every character she inhabits will captivate audiences once again as she brings Hollis to life on the screen,” said Christina Davis, president of original programming for Starz. “This is a whip-smart comedy that despite its 1980’s set dressing, is a pointed commentary on politics and the politics of being a woman today that will be a valuable addition to our slate of premium programming by and for women. Debra, Ali and Liz will most definitely not be pulling any punches.”
Messing is best known for her Emmy Award-winning role on the NBC comedy series “Will & Grace.” She also starred in television series such as “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Smash,” “The Starter Wife” and Lionsgate’s TV remake of “Dirty Dancing.”
She is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, Gersh and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP.
“Debra is a singular talent with whom we’ve had the honor of working in the past, and we couldn’t be more excited to reunite with Ali to bring her mother’s incredible story to viewers,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. “Ali, Debra and Liz are shepherding a witty and empowering series right in the wheelhouse of our Starz premium platform.”
Wentworth previously wrote and starred in the Pop series “Nightcap,” which was also produced by Lionsgate. She also created, starred in, and executive produced the Starz series “Head Case.” Tuccillo’s previous writing credits include “Sex and the City,” “Smash,” “Divorce,” and “Sweetbitter.”
She is repped by ICM and Hansen Jacobson. Tuccillo is repped by Felker Toczek.