New NBC Season Features Whoopi Goldberg and Christine Baranski; McDonald’s “Sterling” Canceled

News   New NBC Season Features Whoopi Goldberg and Christine Baranski; McDonald’s “Sterling” Canceled On May 12 NBC announced its primetime schedule for the 2003-04 season. The new season will include a variety of situation comedies and dramas, including programs starring theatre favorites Christine Baranski and Whoopi Goldberg.

Whoopi Goldberg will star in the eponymous “Whoopi,” Tuesdays from 8 to 8:30 PM, and Baranski will co-star with Emmy Award winner John Larroquette in another comedy, “Happy Family,” also on Tuesday evenings, 8:30-9 PM.

According to an NBC release, “Whoopi” casts Goldberg as “a one-hit wonder singer who becomes an opinionated ‘hotelier’ running her own small hotel in New York any way she wants.” The comedy co-stars Wren T. Brown as her younger brother Courtney and Elizabeth Regen as Courtney’s white girlfriend Rita. “Happy Family” concerns a couple (Baranski and Larroquette) whose “twenty-something children just can’t seem to get the hang of flying solo.” The comedy features Tyler Francavilla as son Tim, Hamish Linklater as son Todd and Melanie Deanne Moore as daughter Sara.

Whoopi Goldberg, who returned to Broadway this season in the revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, made her Main Stem debut in her own one-woman show, Whoopi Goldberg. She later replaced Nathan Lane in the hit revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and she is currently represented on Broadway as one of the producers of the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. An Academy Award winner for her role in "Ghost," Goldberg's numerous other screen credits include "The Color Purple," "Sister Act," "Boys on the Side" and "Star Trek: Nemesis."

Christine Baranski won Tonys for her work in Rumors and The Real Thing and has also been seen on the New York stage in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Obie Award), The House of Blue Leaves and Lips Together, Teeth Apart as well as the Encores! production of Promises, Promises. Baranski has also achieved much success on TV, winning an Emmy Award for her performance as the boozy best friend on "Cybill." Her film credits include "Legal Eagles," "Addams Family Values," "Jeffrey" and "The Birdcage." Baranski, who spent last summer starring in the Kennedy Center production of Sweeney Todd, was also seen in the Oscar-winning “Chicago.”

In related news: NBC has canceled “Mr. Sterling,” the hour-long political drama that starred Josh Brolin and three-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald.