Former ER star Maura Tierney has had to withdraw from her new series, Parenthood, to continue her treatment for breast cancer. NBC announced the actresses’ departure Thursday, and said they would recast her role in the new TV series based on the 1989 film.
In July, production on the series has been postponed for eight weeks and the premiere pushed to mid-season to allow Maura to undergo what they were then calling “medical evaluation.” Later it was confirmed she had a tumor in her breast that would require surgery. A representative for Maura said her prognosis is positive:
Ms. Tierney and her doctors remain confident that the outcome of her treatments will be positive. She is deeply disappointed that she will not be able to rejoin such a highly respected, talented, fun and funny group of actors and wishes to thank Jason Katims and NBC for their patience and support.
Tierney was cast as Sarah, a single mom raising two teens. Her performance in the pilot helped the show receive critical acclaim and her role was called the “cornerstone” of the cast. The large ensemble also stars Six Feet Under alum Peter Krause, Coach star Craig T. Nelson, Punk’d veteran Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen and Sarah Ramos.
I’ve been a fan of Maura’s since her NewsRadio days. That was back when people still confused Kathy Griffin and Vicki Lewis. She has continued to impress throughout her career. She has a wry sense of humor and aura of capability that’s — well, it’s kind of gay gal catnip.
After NewsRadio ended in 1999, Maura joined ER and spent a successful decade on the show playing nurse-turned-doctor Abby Lockhart until it ended its run earlier this year. She has recently guested on Rescue Me as well.
Whether she was playing a harried campaigns staffer in Primary Colors or a “chocolate or poop” testing mom in Baby Mama, Maura has been a delight to watch. We wish her a full and speedy recovery and an equally full and speedy return to our TV sets.