Damages

The highly anticipated second season of legal thriller Damages starring Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons) and Rose Byrne (Marie Antoinette) is to be screened on BBC One in February 2009.

Season one scooped three Emmy Awards – for Outstanding Lead Actress for Glenn Close, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Zelijko Ivanek and Outstanding Casting For a Drama Series for Julie Tucker – plus, a Golden Globe Award for Glenn Close for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series.

Oscar winners William Hurt (Children Of A Lesser God, Broadcast News) and Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock, Mystic River) join the cast for the new 13-part season following the turbulent lives of the revered and reviled high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes (Close) and her ambitious protege Ellen Parsons (Byrne) – now working with the FBI to bring Hewes down.

William Hurt plays a new client of Patty’s who shares both a personal and professional relationship with her.

The role reunites Hurt and Close, who were co-stars in the 1984 Oscar-nominated Best Picture The Big Chill (which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008), and marks William Hurt’s first regular role in a TV series.

Harden will play a high-powered attorney who opposes Patty Hewes on a case.

The new season also sees Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, Hitman) join the cast – his character becomes entangled in the life of Ellen Parsons – and sees Tate Donovan (The OC) return to his role as Tom Shayes, a partner in Hewes & Associates.

And Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Ted Danson makes a shocking and controversial return as business mogul Arthur Frobisher, after being dramatically shot at the end of season one.

Sue Deeks, BBC Television’s Head of Series, Programme Acquisition, says she is delighted to have secured the rights for the second season from Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI): “BBC One is the home of high quality, exciting drama and the first season of Damages with its compelling mix of complex legal thriller and riveting murder mystery really set the bar high – I can’t wait to see what they do with season two!”

The first season of Damages not only won three Emmys but was nominated for seven other awards including Best Drama.

Directed by Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Sex And The City and BBC Two’s Rome), the show is executive produced by Todd Kessler (The Sopranos), Glenn Kessler (Robbery Homicide Division) and Daniel Zelman (Fool’s Gold).

The acquisition of the second season of Damages is the latest in an impressive portfolio of hits for BBC Programme Acquisition, led by Controller, George McGhee.

In 2008 viewers enjoyed the Australian comedy Summer Heights High as well as Family Guy on BBC Three, and both the second series of The Tudors and Heroes series three on BBC Two.

This year heralds the second series of Mad Men on BBC Four, which has already won two Golden Globes, 16 Emmy nominations and six Emmy wins including Outstanding Drama Series – the first basic cable series to do so.

Damages, the top-rating new series in the United States this season, is to be screened on BBC One next year.

This highly anticipated 13-part drama series, starring five-time Oscar nominee and two-time Tony Award winner Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons), combines a compelling legal thriller with a riveting murder mystery.

Directed by Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Sex And The City and BBC Two’s Rome), Damages is a powerful drama set in high stakes litigation.

The series follows the turbulent lives of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), the nation’s most revered and reviled high stakes litigator, and her bright and ambitious protégé Ellen Parsons, played by rising Australian star Rose Byrne (Marie Antoinette), as they become embroiled in a lawsuit with one of the wealthiest and most corrupt CEOs in the country.

The stellar cast also includes Emmy and Golden Globe winner Ted Danson (Three Men And A Baby, Becker), Tate Donovan (The OC), Zelijko Ivanek (Black Hawk Down) and Noah Bean (Stay).

Sue Deeks, BBC Television’s Head of Series, Programme Acquisition, secured the rights from Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) for BBC One.

She says: “BBC One is the home of high quality, exciting drama and the perfect place for such a taut and intelligent series – think of John Grisham’s The Firm crossed with Murder One and you’ll get the idea of just how good Damages is.”

The show is executive produced by Todd Kessler (The Sopranos), Glenn Kessler (Robbery Homicide Division) and Daniel Zelman (Fool’s Gold).

Damages will be premiering on BBC One next year.

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