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September 3, 2015

Rod Lurie creates new femme series for Showtime

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 30th 2008 3:05PM
Rod Lurie and GeenaRod Lurie is no stranger to writing strong female characters. In film, he wrote and directed The Contender, with Joan Allen as a woman who was being considered for the Vice Presidency of the United States.

Then with Commander in Chief on ABC, he made Geena Davis the President and actually showed her in action -- until the show was canceled.

Lurie's working on another female-driven drama now for Showtime, but this time it's not about politics. Hillary Jones is the name of the show and the character, a police detective working vice in Los Angeles during the week, but moonlighting as a hooker in Nevada during the weekend.

She's not breaking the law, though, because prostitution -- as you and I know from the movies -- is legal there.

As a former film critic, Lurie must know that there are scribes out there ready to toss bricks at him for going from celebrating accomplished women with The Contender and Commander to this. It sounds positively prurient. Does she arrest hookers in L.A. and share makeup and fashion tips for her times across the state line? Can't you just imagine the dialog -- "Say, that's a great top, where did you buy it? Oh, and you're under arrest for solicitation."

Launching a preemptive defense, he said, "I hope it doesn't obliterate my credentials with women. I imagine feminists will have us in their cross hairs, but once they see it, they will realize it is very warm and humanizing." Lurie will be writing and directing, so if he doesn't deliver warm and humanizing, he will hear about it.

He claims that he's using Weeds as a guiding light. "That's what I want to accomplish with (Hillary)." If Rod Lurie can come up with another Weeds, Showtime will be ecstatic and so will TV fans.

One thing that will matter a lot will be casting. Weeds works as well as it does because of Mary Louise Parker. I would expect that Lurie will lure a strong, charismatic star for Hillary Jones; he's done so in the past. Geena Davis, for instance, may be available since her CBS cop drama, Exit 19, was not on the fall schedule.

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