Television

Catherine Zeta-Jones Joins Dark Comedy ‘Queen America’

A dark tale of pageants and Queens

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Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined a new Facebook Watch series called “Queen America,” which was given a 10-episode, straight-to-series order by Facebook’s new video platform. “Queen America” is the first straight-to-series order for wiip, the new independent studio launched and led by veteran television executive Paul Lee. Made Up Stories will serve as wiip’s co-studio partner.

Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, “Queen America” is a dark-comedy about Vicki Ellis, the most renowned (and ruthless) pageant coach in the state, and the hapless Samantha Stone who hopes Vicki can mold her into worthwhile contender for the title of Miss America. Vicki is desperately sought after by young women competing to be Miss America for one reason; she can turn any girl into a winner. But when she gets paired with the beautiful but unpolished Samantha, Vicki’s entire reputation might be at stake.

“Queen America” is created, written, and executive produced by Meaghan Oppenheimer (“Fear the Walking Dead”). Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea and Casey Haver, and Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady and Suzan Bymel will also executive produce alongside Janice Williams.

“I’m so excited to be making this show, set in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma — and beyond grateful to be partnered again with Bruna Papandrea, who has championed this project from its earliest stages and proven to be one of the biggest supporters of women in the industry,” said Oppenheimer. “We have been very lucky to have found such great collaborators in wiip, Entertainment 360, and Facebook. To have one of my favorite actresses, Catherine Zeta-Jones, bringing this character to life is a dream come true.”

“Meaghan Oppenheimer is an incredible talent and we knew we had to bring this show to the world the second she first pitched us the idea. We are so excited to be collaborating with her, Facebook, and the incredible Catherine Zeta-Jones on this project,” said Papandrea.

Zeta-Jones won an Oscar for her portrayal of Velma Kelly, in the screen adaptation of “Chicago.” She was also nominated for a Golden Globe and took home the Critics’ Choice Award, a SAG Award, and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for that role. She won the Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” Additional feature credits include “Ocean’s 12”, the Coen Brothers’ “Intolerable Cruelty,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic,” “Entrapment,” and “The Mask of Zorro.” She recently starred in the highly rated Lifetime movie “Cocaine Godmother,” portraying the true life story of drug kingpin Griselda Blanco.

You can preview the other content available on Facebook Watch, for free, on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps.