by: Donna Whitehead
Four of a kind! Upcoming Netflix comedy GRACE AND FRANKIE has rounded out its main cast with “The Newsroom” star Sam Waterston, who joins Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Jane Fonda–all of whom happen to have also starred on Aaron Sorkin shows. The series follows two long-time rivals whose husbands reveal that they have been having an affair for the past 20 years, and are now getting married. Howard J. Morris and “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman created the show and will executive produce.
Sheen, of course, is beloved for his turn as President Josiah Bartlet on Sorkin’s “The West Wing,” on which Tomlin played the President’s assistant, Deborah Fiderer. Fonda, meanwhile, has appeared alongside Waterston on “The Newsroom,” as Leona Lansing, the CEO of Atlantis World Media. Waterston plays ACN news president Charlie Skinner. It’s like Aaron Sorkin crossover fanfiction: President Bartlet is married to Leona Lansing, and Debbie Fiderer is married to Charlie Skinner, and soon Charlie and the President will be married, themselves.
Sorkin geekery aside (as much as Sorkin geekery is ever truly aside), this is excellent casting news due to the sheer caliber of the actors. Waterston, Tomlin, Sheen, and Fonda are all greats, and proven at the kind of dramedy that “Grace and Frankie” will no doubt require of them. I’d probably tune in for any one of them alone (definitely for Tomlin or Sheen). All four? It’s a no-brainer.
Waterston is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.