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Four time Oscar nominee William Hurt joins the cast of Damages; what does that mean for Ted Danson?



FX's once-floundering legal series, Damages, has snagged another big name for its sprawling cast: four-Dansondamagestime Oscar nominee (and Incredible Hulk co-star) William Hurt.

Which only brings one question for this sometimes Damages fan: What happened to Ted Danson?

Danson gave the performance of the year as a egotistical, heartless CEO at the heart of FX's testy legal thriller series (see my take here). Using his reputation with viewers as an all-around good guy, Danson crafted a deadly villain whose charming exterior masked a ruthless ambition and boundless need. At the end of the first season, we saw him shot by one of the average folks he used, left to die in a field.

And the question which has nagged at fans since: Will he get to come back?

Hurt's hiring would seem to make that possiblity a remote one -- though a publicist at FX could not say whether Danson was officially off the show. Danson is very specifically not mentioned in the list of returning castmembers on the press release announcing Hurt's arrival, and the addition of the Oscar winner would seem to provide the star power Damages might lose by cutting Danson loose.

I sure hope this isn't about wrangling over pay or some other Hollywood nonsense.

Hurtthunderbolt_rossHere's FX's release....


LOS ANGELES, June 16, 2008 – Academy Award® winning actor William Hurt will join the cast of FX’s Golden Globe® award winning series Damages for its second season, which is scheduled to return to the network in early 2009, announced Nick Grad, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, FX Networks.

Production of season two starts on June 24th in New York. Damages is produced by Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and FX Productions.

Hurt joins Damages for a season-long arc as a new client of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close).  Details of Hurt's character are being kept under wraps, but insiders have intimated that Hurt's character will not only share a professional past with Hewes, but a personal one as well.

“We believe Damages has one of the finest ensemble casts anywhere on television and the fact that an actor the caliber of William Hurt has joined the cast speaks to the quality of series,” said Grad. “It will be great watching him and Glenn Close work together again.”

William_hurt Creators/Executive Producers Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman stated, "We are thrilled and honored to have William join Glenn Close on our Damages dream team. The fuse is lit, and with these two actors going head to head, the fireworks are sure to fly."

The role on Damages marks the first time in his illustrious career that Hurt has signed on for regular series television.  He reunites with Glenn Close for the first time since they shared the screen 25 years ago in the acclaimed film The Big Chill.

"To be able to welcome the brilliant William Hurt to our remarkable cast is as good as it gets,” said Jeanie Bradley, Executive Vice President, Current Programming, SPT.  “Watching him and Glenn tangle onscreen will surely deliver the goods that our audience has grown to expect."

Hurt is a four-time Academy Award nominee, and he won the Oscar® for Best Actor in a Leading role for Kiss of The Spiderwoman.  He received Oscar nominations for his performances in A History of Violence, Broadcast News and Children of a Lesser God.  He is a five-time Golden Globe nominee.

Hurt is currently starring in the box-office hit The Incredible Hulk, which was released this past weekend.

Damages, which is generating strong Emmy buzz, received the most Golden Globe nominations of any series on television and Glenn Close earned the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – TV Series Drama.  The series recently received three nominations from the Television Critics Association.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:48pm]


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