Frasier star David Hyde Pierce joins Sarah Lancashire in Julia Child US drama pilot

Hyde Pierce will play Julia's husband as Lancashire makes her US television debut.

David Hyde Pierce

Frasier star David Hyde Pierce is replacing Tom Hollander as the husband of iconic, trailblazing TV chef Julia Child in the HBO Max pilot Julia, starring Sarah Lancashire.

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Hollander (The Night Manager, Us) has pulled out of the role of Paul Child because of scheduling changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Julia was just about to start production in March when the lockdown was enforced.

Deadline reports that Julia will be filmed in the US and while Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) was flying in, despite the possibilities of another lockdown, for the pilot shoot, Hollander had decided to stay in the UK.

Julia will tell the story of the legendary television chef and cookery writer, who is credited with introducing French cooking to the great American public and, in fact, to ordinary people around the world. Tall and with a unique, sonorous voice, Child was a force of nature in the kitchen and was famous for enjoying a glass or two of wine while she cooked.

Julia has been written by Daniel Goldfarb (The Marvellous Mrs Maisel) and will be directed by Charles McDougall (Desperate Housewives) and will focus on how Child’s show The French Chef lay the foundations for the explosion of food television.

The French Chef premiered in 1963 and ran until 1966, then resumed from 1970-1973. After it was cancelled numerous variations starring Child were launched, including Julia Child & Friends (1978-79), Dinner at Julia’s (1983-1985) and Baking with Julia (1996-1998).

The drama pilot will explore how America was transforming during the 1960s and ’70s. Child’s career was taking off with the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the birth of public television and the growth of the women’s movement and celebrity culture.

Julia will also be a portrait of a complicated marriage and Hyde Pierce, who played Dr Niles Crane in Frasier, had a key role as Paul.

Julia will co-star Brittany Bradford, Fran Kranz, Bebe Neuwirth co-star in the pilot, with Isabella Rossellini and Jefferson Mays guest starring.

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