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Fringe's Joshua Jackson may have found his next small-screen role. The actor, also well known for playing Pacey in Dawson's Creek, has been cast in Showtime's drama pilot The Affair. Jackson joins previously cast Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Maura Tierney in the project, which is still at the pilot stage at premium cable network.
Written by playwright and writer/producer Sarah Treem, along with Hagai Levi, The Affair centers on the romantic entanglements of Allison, a young woman who works at a pancake house, who's trying to piece her life together after a tragedy, and Noah, a New Yorker who's spending the summer out on Long Island with his family. Allison (Ruth Wilson) and Noah (Dominic West) are both married, only not to each other, which is where the titular affair comes in. Maura Tierney is set to play the role of Helen, "Noah's college sweetheart, best friend, mother of his children, lover and wife of nearly two decades, whose world will be buffeted by Noah's infidelity and who over time, will swing back and forth from understanding to furious, and from forgiving to vengeful." Today, Showtime announced that Jackson is set to play the other spouse in this situation. His character Cole is married to Allison. He's described as a hard-edged cowboy who manages a ranch on the eastern tip of Long Island that has been in his family for generations.
So from the sound of it, this is a pretty big role. While we can probably put West and Wilson at the center of this story, Tierney and Jackson are right there at their sides, as the cheated-on spouses. While it sounds evident that Tierney's character will be all over the map emotionally as she attempts to deal with her cheating husband and the inevitable heartbreak and humiliation that may or may not factor into that, there's no mention of how the affair will affect Cole, other than the fact that this affair is one more complication in his already emotionally charged marriage. I'm thinking the mentioned tragedy factors in there.
As mentioned, Jackson's most recent steady gig was a starring role as Peter Bishop on Fox's sci-fi drama Fringe. Before that, his biggest role was playing Pacey Witter in Dawson's Creek. And some of us remember him even more fondly as the good-spirited Charlie Conway in the Mighty Ducks trilogy. The Affair appears to be a step away from sci-fi for Jackson, but not entirely unfamiliar territory when we consider the romantic entanglements often featured on Dawson's Creek. With that said, Creek tended to learn toward teen melodrama, and I like to think The Affair would aim for a bit more nuance in the way its characters' drama unfolds. But that remains to be seen, or it does if The Affair goes to series. Right now, it's still in the pilot stage at Showtime, but the cast is looking top notch, so hopefully that's a good indication that this project will go forward.