Cox-Arquette Takes On Nasty New Role In ‘Dirt’

Jun 19, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Portraying the editor of a celebrity tabloid, Courteney Cox-Arquette looks very tough. Cruel and jaded.

“What do you think?” asks a paparazzo, showing her a candid photo.

“That the strap-on looks painful,” she shoots back.

Yup, Ms. Cox-Arquette’s return to television will be pretty far from Monica Geller, the character she played for 10 seasons on NBC’s “Friends.”

Ms. Cox-Arquette’s “Dirt,” which she also executive produces along with husband David Arquette, was greenlighted for a full season last month by FX. The network’s president and general manager, John Landgraf, recently gave TelevisionWeek a look at a very rough trailer of “Dirt,” along with a look at comedian Eddie Izzard’s family drama pilot, “Lowlife.”

At first blush, “Dirt” looks like a dark-hearted version of “Entourage”-slick, naughty and sprinkled with celebrity cameos.

At a time when conservative government regulators have even basic cable networks shying away from the sort of graphic content seen only on pay TV networks such as HBO, “Dirt” could make some headlines.

“As far as we can go is what FX wants us to do,” Ms. Cox-Arquette said in an interview last week. “They have no problem pushing it to the limit.”

“Lowlife” also strikes an HBO tone, but in a way more akin to the sad-eyed family dynamics of “Six Feet Under” or “Big Love” than the pop gloss of “Entourage.” Mr. Landgraf said he’s sent the “Lowlife” team to re-shoot the pilot with more comedy.

In it, a con artist played by Mr. Izzard and his family get into a rural highway accident. The occupants of the other vehicle are killed, and Mr. Izzard’s family moves into the crash victims’ new home and assumes their identities.