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October 31, 2014

Maura Tierney Drops Out of 'Parenthood' to Undergo Breast Cancer Treatment

by Patricia Chui, posted Sep 11th 2009 2:04PM
Maura TierneyBad news for Maura Tierney fans today: The actress has dropped out of NBC's upcoming dramedy 'Parenthood' to continue her treatment for breast cancer.

Tierney had surgery in July to remove a breast tumor, hoping to return to the show when she was recovered. NBC even moved the premiere date from fall to midseason to accommodate her, but now she and the network have agreed to part ways.

"While we are saddened that Maura Tierney won't be able to continue in her current role in 'Parenthood,' our main concern is for her quick and full recovery. Our thoughts and best wishes are with her," NBC said in a statement to Variety.Maura TierneyBad news for Maura Tierney fans today: The actress has dropped out of NBC's upcoming dramedy 'Parenthood' to continue her treatment for breast cancer.

Tierney had surgery in July to remove a breast tumor, hoping to return to the show when she was recovered. NBC even moved the premiere date from fall to midseason to accommodate her, but now she and the network have agreed to part ways.

"While we are saddened that Maura Tierney won't be able to continue in her current role in 'Parenthood,' our main concern is for her quick and full recovery. Our thoughts and best wishes are with her," NBC said in a statement to Variety.

NBC still plans a midseason premiere for the show, which is based on Ron Howard's 1989 film about an extended dysfunctional family. But it'll now have to recast Tierney's role with another actress who will join series regulars Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard and Erika Christensen. Variety reports that one name on the producers' wish list is Marisa Tomei, who, if cast, would be returning to a regular series role for the first time since 'A Different World.'

We're seriously bummed for Tierney, of course. She's got a long battle ahead of her, and her health obviously needs to be her first priority. But can we admit that we're also a little bummed for ourselves, too?

We've loved the talented actress ever since she starred as the overachieving reporter/producer Lisa Miller on NBC's 'NewsRadio,' back in 1995 (Dave Foley never had it so good). Then, when 'ER' was starting to flounder, she came along and breathed new life into the show as Nurse Abby Lockhart, continuing in that show's great tradition of nurses who are far more interesting than any of the show's featured doctors -- even though her character later became a doctor herself.

Denis Leary and Maura Tierney in Rescue MeMore recently, she shone in a five-episode arc on 'Rescue Me' as a troubled woman, and potential love interest for Denis Leary's character, who ran into a burning building to save a mysterious box. And those rare few of us who kind of liked the 1999 movie 'Forces of Nature' (ahem) will remember that she did a lot with a small role there, too. It's not easy to pull off looking fabulous in a wedding dress in the middle of a thunderstorm, while your fiance admits that he possibly may have cheated on you.

We've been looking forward to 'Parenthood' for quite a while, but a major reason for our excitement level was Tierney, who, as a single mom raising two teenagers, was the best part of the show's pilot. Frankly, no matter who NBC recasts in the role, it's tough to imagine the show succeeding quite as well without her singular presence.

But if Tierney's past work and choices of roles are any indication of the kind of person she is, we have no doubt she's going to kick cancer's ass up, down and sideways, and will be back on our TV screens before we know it. We'll be rooting her on the whole way.

Got well-wishes for Maura Tierney? Add them to the comments below.

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