Appian Way, the production company owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, has been looking to adapt Josh Bazell's suspense novel Beat the Reaper for a couple of years now. Having originally looked to turn the novel into a film, with D.J Caruso signed up to direct the feature, DiCaprio and his company recently sold Beat the Reaper to HBO as an ongoing drama series.
Having ruled himself out of starring in the production, Leo will exec produce the show with Brian Koppleman and David Levieen, of Ocean's Thirteen fame, will write and executive produce the show about "a young ER doctor whose life is upended when a patient comes through his ward that recognizes the internist from his old life - when he used to work for a notorious crime family."
The series has been added to an intersting roster of shows from the network which include Da Brick, The Correction, Hobgoblin and Newsroom.
Speaking of that last show, Jane Fonda has joined the cast as a recurring star. Newsroom is the third series in Aaron Sorkin's Behind the Scenes triogy, which has included Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It is set at a 24-hour cable news network and the one hour drama will revolve around an anchor, played by Jeff Daniels, his new executive producer, Emily Mortimer, and his vast newsroom staff that includes Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jnr, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel and Thomas Sadoski as well as his boss, Sam Waterston.
TV Line are reporting that Fonda will recur as Leona Lansing, the CEO of the network's parent company. With her character described as " a titan and her corporate concerns often conflict with the reporting of the news outlet she owns." She has been compared to CNN founder Ted Turner, whom Fonda was married to for a decade from 1991-2001.
Her character's name has even inspired by two powerful women, the late Leona Helmsley and Sherry Lansing, the first female studio head.
There is no doubting however that Fonda's addition definitely makes a great cast even better.