Jane Fonda Joins Aaron Sorkin's HBO Drama

Jane Fonda is coming to the small screen.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actress has booked a recurring role on HBO's newsroom-set Aaron Sorkin drama, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She will join a collection of high profile actors, including Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer.

In the project, which is set at a 24-hour cable news network, Fonda will play Leona Lansing, the CEO of the cable news network's parent company whose ideals often clash with the news outlet she oversees, according to TV Line, who first reported the news.

Her character's name is a nod to two Hollywood icons, the late Leona Helmsley and the one-time Paramount chief Sherry Lansing. The news comes one week after Fonda was honored at THR's Women in Entertainment breakfast with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award for her influential role on- and off-screen.

In a corresponding interview, Fonda told THR that she was eager to enter the TV fray with a comedy vehicle, much the way fellow actresses Laura Linney (The Big C) and Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) have done in recent years. "First of all, I like the idea of a regular job," she said. "And second, I like the idea of comedy about an older woman."

To be sure, Fonda knows her way around newsrooms. In addition to a previous marriage to CNN founder Ted Turner, she played a TV news reporter in Columbia Pictures' 1979 thriller The China Syndrome, an early collaboration between Fonda and then-midlevel studio executive Lansing.

HBO picked up the project to series in September.

Peter Oberth
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