Nancy Botwin, the witty and very likeable protagonist of Showtime’s top-rated series Weeds, is apparently a huge influence on another series currently on the works.
Renowned film critic turned director Rod Laurie (The Contender) is reportedly developing a “female-driven drama” for Showtime, and says he aims to pattern the character after Botwin.
“That’s what I want to accomplish with [the character],” he says.
The new show will be about Hillary Jones, a woman who works as a vice cop in Los Angeles during the week and sidelines as a legal prostitute in Nevada during the weekend.
The concept comes from Laurie, who is by no means a stranger in writing strong female characters. Just to name a few, he wrote and directed The Contender, where a woman (Joan Allen) was a primary candidate for the vice-presidency of the U.S. He also wrote and directed Commander-in-Chief with Geena Davis as the president.
Of course, writing about women in such sensitive circumstances, Laurie knows feminists might be after his head once the series debuts. He assures them that, like Botwin, Jones will not be a bad representation of the female kind in any way.
“I hope it doesn’t obliterate my credentials with women. I imagine feminists will have us in their cross hairs, but once they see it, they will realize it is very warm and humanizing.”
As early as now, observes note that part of Weeds’ success is the charisma of Mary Louise Parker, who plays Botwin. They say the same thing will be crucial for Jones. If this works, Showtime will be very happy. Weeds’ August 2005 debut was the highest rated series for the cable network that year. More recently, Weeds’ fourth season premiere became the network’s most-watched telecast in record, with 1.3 million viewers. Hence, any show remotely resembling the reception to Weeds is good news for Showtime.
-Glenn L. Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly)