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by Madeline Raynor
June 25, 2013 12:28 PM
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Julianne Nicholson Will Play the Female Lead in Sundance's New Series 'The Descendants'

Macall B. Polay/HBO Julianne Nicholson recently played a role in season three of 'Boardwalk Empire'

According to Deadline, Julianne Nicholson has just been cast as the female lead in "The Descendants," a Sundance Channel original series from writer Aaron Guzikowski ("Contraband" and the upcoming film "Prisoners") that was greenlit back in March.

The drama, the network's second wholly owned original scripted series after "Rectify," revolves around a small-town sheriff named Harold Jensen who's trying to keep his family together while mediating between his neighbors and the Ramapo Mountain Indians. A tragedy and coverup involving the sheriff's wife leads the man to form a dangerous alliance with a member of the tribe.

Nicholson will play Harold's wife Jean, described as an overbearing recovering alcoholic with possible dementia who loses it when she learns her daughter has run off with her new boyfriend. Could this be the cause of the "tragedy and coverup" that incites her husband's alliance? The role of Harold Jensen is yet to be cast, but Sundance has ordered six one-hour episodes.

Nicholson, whose past TV work includes a three-season stint on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and a recurring role on the last season of "Boardwalk Empire," can also be seen in another upcoming southern drama: the much anticipated "August: Osage County" adaptation, which opens on Christmas Day.