Meg Ryan Gets a TV Series, Based on a Short Film Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Meg Ryan, it seems, has been distancing herself from acting and the entertainment industry for quite a while, though last year she directed and acted in a (critically rejected) film called Ithaca, which happened to feature her Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail co-star Tom Hanks. Now, for first time in over 30 years (since Wildside), Ryan is becoming a series regular on a 30-minute TV comedy (an exciting prospect, given her excellent comic timing). She’ll be the star of a show called Picture Paris, which has landed on Epix.

Epix actually doesn’t — with Graves and Berlin Station as its flagships of original programming — seem all that epic as far as television pioneering goes, but Deadline says that the network acquired the series after some intense competition. And it seems this is the next step for the company — alongside a series adaptation of Get Shorty starring Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd — is producing more original programming (as just about every cable channel you’ve never heard of is attempting) to match its name.

The series, written by Brad Hall (who’ll also direct), is based on his short film of the same name, which starred Hall’s wife, who just so happens to be Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Now, Ryan will play the role Dreyfus originated — that of the wife in a suburban couple who go to Paris as a palliative treatment for empty nest syndrome; but that trip “may not live up to expectations.”

Here’s the preview for the original film:

And, while we’re at it, here’s the trailer for French Kiss, which starred Meg Ryan as another charmingly clumsy American having a hard but ultimately romantic time in Paris, in spite of Kevin Kline’s overwrought French accent: