Alyssa Milano (“Charmed”) and Michael Rapaport (“The War at Home”) will guest-star on NBC’s comedy “My Name Is Earl” (Thursdays, 8-8:30 p.m. ET) in multi-episode arcs scheduled to air in early October.
In the series, Milano will portray Billie Cunningham, whom Earl (Jason Lee) first meets when she comes to visit her boyfriend — fellow inmate Frank (guest-star, Michael Rapaport). Billie would be living as a productive member of society if Frank hadn’t introduced her to an exciting life of crime. But meeting Earl inspires Billie to trade in the rush of thieving for the rush of redemption — and their parallel lives become more and more intertwined.
Said Greg Garcia, the series’ creator and executive producer: “We have two very strong actresses on the show, so when we were going to bring in a third for a few episodes, we knew we had to get someone with some real presence. Alyssa is a popular TV star and we’re delighted to have her join us for what will be a great storyline.”
Added Garcia: “I’ve also been a fan of Michael Rapaport for a very long time and recently had the pleasure of working with him this past spring on a pilot for CBS. I’ve always wanted him to come do a guest spot on ‘Earl,’ and now that he had the time, we found the ideal role for him. He fits perfectly into our world and we’re very excited to have him joining us.”
Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye with a 25-year career, 18 of those on network television.
Milano has a history of long running successful television series. She most recently starred on the hit series “Charmed” for eight years. The show’s debut was the highest-rated premiere in the network’s history, and continued to be a great success. The series’ international appeal has brought it to more than 100 territories around the world, spanning Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. She also earlier starred on the series “Melrose Place.” Milano began her career on the comedy “Who’s the Boss,” which aired for eight years.
Milano’s film credits include “Hugo Pool” (co-starring Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr.), “Fear” and “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.” She also provided a lead voice for the recent sequel to the animated favorite “Lady and the Tramp.” She most recently completed production on the thriller “Pathology,” opposite Milo Ventimiglia (NBC’s “Heroes”). “Pathology” is scheduled for a Fall 2007 release.
Rapaport will portray Frank Stump, a born leader. Back in 1999, then an acquaintance of Earl’s, Frank went on a robbing spree that landed him in prison on a 20-year sentence. Earl soon reacquaints himself with Frank as a fellow inmate and their relationship picks up where it left off — continuing to create trouble in Earl’s life.
In 1993, a young Rapaport made his film debut in “Zebrahead,” receiving great critical acclaim for his genuine and confident portrayal of a Jewish teenager growing up in a predominantly African-American Detroit neighborhood. The performance went on to garner him an Independent Spirit Award nomination and the film itself, won the 1993 Sundance Film Festival’s Filmmaker’s Trophy. His work was recognized by critics who predicted a promising career for the actor.
Rapaport most recently starred in the TV comedy, “The War at Home,” and he previously starred in David E. Kelley’s critically acclaimed television drama “Boston Public.”
Rapaport also appeared in the romantic comedy feature film “Hitch,” opposite Will Smith, as well as the comedy “Live Free or Die.” Prior to that, he starred in the dramatic thriller “Twenty Nine Palms” and the independent dark comedy, “Comic Book Villains.” He also starred opposite Woody Allen and Hugh Grant in the comic-caper “Small Time Crooks,” gave a controversial performance opposite Damon Wayans and Jada Pinkett-Smith in the Spike Lee’s comedy “Bamboozled,” starred in the period drama “Men of Honor” with Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr., and co-starred with John Travolta in “Lucky Numbers” and in the sci-fi thriller “The Sixth Day” with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Rapaport’s other films range from John Singleton’s dramatic “Higher Learning” and Barbet Schroeder’s “Kiss of Death” to the more comedic in Woody Allens’ “Mighty Aphrodite” and Ted Demme’s “Beautiful Girls.”
Created and written by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“Yes, Dear”), “My Name Is Earl” is executive-produced by Garcia, and Bobby Bowman (“Yes, Dear”). Amigos de Garcia and Twentieth Century Fox Television produce the series.