To those of a younger generation, it’s possible that Jane Fonda is better known as a campaigner and as ex-wife of mogul Ted Turner than as an actress. For twenty years between 1990 and 2010, the Oscar-winning star of “Klute” and “Coming Home” made only two films, the weak Jennifer Lopez comedy “Monster-In-Law,” and the even weaker Lindsay Lohan vehicle “Georgia Rule.”
But the actress has suddenly burst into activity, with two films, Bruce Beresford‘s hippie comedy “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding” and the French-language “…And If We All Lived Together” with Daniel Bruhl and Geraldine Chaplin, premiering at film festivals across 2011, and set to hit theaters in 2012. And we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Fonda, as, in a bit of a casting coup, the actress has taken on her first ever role on a TV series, and it’s in one of the most anticipated shows of next year, “Newsroom,” the HBO drama that marks “The Social Network” scribe Aaron Sorkin‘s return to television.
The show (which has switched to the new working title after previously being known as “More As This Story Develops“), is set behind the scenes at an MSNBC-style cable news show, following its charismatic, controversial lead anchor (Jeff Daniels), while Fonda will play the CEO of the network’s parent company, Leona Lansing, whose business interests clash with Daniels’ reporting, in what promises to be a recurring role.
It’s not surprising considering his track record in TV (“Sports Night,” “The West Wing“) and his recent Oscar-winning success, but Sorkin has managed to attract a hell of a cast for the new show, with Emily Mortimer as Daniels’ executive producer, and ex-girlfriend, Sam Waterston as their boss, and Alison Pill (“Scott Pilgrim“), John Gallagher Jr (“Margaret“), Olivia Munn (“Magic Mike“), Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire“) and stage vet Thomas Sadoski as staffers at the network, so Fonda’s just the cherry on the top at this point.
“Superbad” helmer Greg Mottola directed the pilot, which was good enough for HBO to pick the show up for a full season, to no one’s surprise, and filming is currently underway. There’s no word on when the show might air, but we imagine next spring sometime is the most likely. [TVLine]