By Noah Michelson
If you happen upon Debra Messing flitting across your television screen with a gay BFF in tow, fear not! You probably haven�t fallen through a wormhole into an alternate universe where late-�90s sitcoms still rule the Nielsen ratings. Instead, it�s infinitely more likely you�ve tuned in to USA�s new series The Starter Wife, based on the 2007 miniseries of the same name.
Messing stars as Molly, a freshly minted divorc�e attempting to navigate the choppy post-marriage channels of Hollywood�s upper crust aided by her plucky friends -- Rodney (Chris Diamantopoulos), an interior designer with a thing for his hunky, wealthy new client (who has an excruciatingly straight persona); and the gruff-around-the-edges, charmingly neurotic Joan (Judy Davis, reprising her Emmy award�winning role), who�s headed back to rehab but this time with her name on the payroll.
�Rodney and Joan are like the angel and devil sitting on Molly�s shoulder,� explains Diamantopoulos, who modeled Rodney after a mix of several of his gay friends and fashion phenom Tom Ford. �They often switch roles, but in both instances they really have Molly�s best interests at heart.�
As for the inevitable comparisons to that other show that previously touted Messing as the fairest of the fruit flies, Diamantopoulos responds, �I have nothing but respect for Will & Grace, but the only similarities between Will and Rodney are that they�re both a best friend and they both happen to be gay. When people see The Starter Wife they�ll realize this show is a whole other ball of wax.�
The Starter Wife premieres October 10 on USA.
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