Sounds like Laura Linney’s “The Big C” will have another attention-getting attribute in its new season that launches April 8. According to Executive Producer Jenny Bicks, the “Big C” team is awaiting word any minute from a major name likely to come aboard the Showtime dramedy in which Linney plays a woman dealing with cancer. They go back into production this week.
This year, Linney’s Cathy Jamison will be at the Bargaining stage of response to her illness. “It’s going to be all about Cathy looking for joy and really kind of embracing life. She’s been through a lot last season with Paul,” says Bicks, referring to Linney’s series husband Oliver Platt, last seen being worked on by EMTs and flatlining after ingesting cocaine. (Series creator Darlene Hunt refused to confirm that the character died, telling The Hollywood Reporter that Paul will be back, some way, in Season 3.)
“She’s going to get a better prognosis, so she’s going to feel for the first time like, ‘Maybe I have more time, and what the hell now am I going to do with the rest of my life?’ — which becomes a whole separate issue,” says Bicks. “So, she’s really going to go after what makes her happy and she’s going to come in contact with a joyologist, which is a real term, who is going to kind of be her mentor.”
That’s the role in which they’re expecting their exciting name star. Cathy will “get together with this woman and go on a journey and do some crazy things outside her box,” according to Bicks.
Will this season finally put the critically-hailed, top-talent-filled series over the top in terms of popularity and recognition? “I think we’d all like to think that, especially because of where we’re going to be airing this year,” says Bicks, referring to their first springtime seasonal launch. “We’re going to get a lot of viewers who’ve never even seen the show on televsion. A lot of people catch up on DVDs.”
Then there’s the fact that Laura Linney, Emmy nominated for her work on the show last year, was up for Golden Globe honors this month as well. And costar John Benjamin Hickey, who won a Tony for The Normal Heart last year, is also being increasingly recognized for his portrayal of Linney’s bipolar brother, Sean. Says Bicks, “I feel that people are starting to take in this show that we love and it can only be bigger because of that.”
AND: Speaking of Hickey and his Sean character, Bicks reveals that this year, he’s going to have “a gay phone sex line. What?! What?! How does that happen?” She laughs. “He inherits a phone number from somebody whose phone has been cut off and he ends up with this enterprise, and it turns out that he actually has quite a knack for phone sex, so he’s going to kind of go back on the grid and make some good money, and because of that have some very interesting relationships in his life. He’s going to have a lot of fun.”