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Broadway Stars James Franco and Vanessa Williams Head for TV

Franco takes on a Stephen King role for Hulu while Williams joins Fox.

Broadway's James Franco, pictured with his Sardi's caricature, will lead a new Hulu drama.
(© David Gordon)

A couple of Broadway favorites have new plans to take on television roles. James Franco (Of Mice and Men) and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams (After Midnight) recently announced small-screen projects.

Franco, who is known for starring in series such as Freaks and Geeks and General Hospital, has signed with Hulu to star in 11/22/63, the website's first large-scale drama series. The time-travel thriller, based on Stephen King's 2011 bestseller of the same title, will be produced by J.J. Abrams and writer-producer Bridget Carpenter. Franco will play a high school English teacher who travels back in time intending to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Williams is set to star opposite Entourage's Kevin Connolly in the Fox pilot Fantasy Life, written by Tim McAuliffe. Based on a memoir by ESPN's Matthew Berry, the program follows a man who lands a job hosting a fantasy football show. Williams is also set to guest star on Fox's The Mindy Project later this month.