Steven Spielberg-Diablo Cody's Tara set for Jan.

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In the flood of announcements that followed Diablo Cody’s overnight overexposure, perhaps the most persistent was the bond between the Oscar-adorned Juno screenwriter and Steven Spielberg. If we’re to believe the Hollywood lore, he even considered directing Juno at one point, and before long he had Cody attached as a writer on several of his fledgling projects.

The first of those to pop up, the half-hour Showtime comedy series The United States of Tara, now has the prime premiere date of Jan. 18, sandwiched between the season premieres of The L Word and Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The show stars Toni Collette, currently in theaters with Towelhead, as a suburban mother who navigates the customary obstacles along with dissociative-identity disorder. (Get it? The United States of Tara?)

The show, for which Cody wrote the pilot from an idea by Spielberg, has already lit up message boards with condemnations from displeased mental-health advocates, but maybe we should wait to see it before we judge it. The first season will be 12 episodes, on par with other Showtime comedy series. For her part, Cody is currently at work on a second comedy for Spielberg, this time said to be a screenplay for a movie based on another of his ideas. We'll see soon if she can live up to her new mentor’s unguarded faith.

Related links:
News: Diablo Cody to collaborate with Steven Spielberg (again)
News: Showtime snags Steven Spielberg and Diablo Cody's Tara
News: Diablo Cody stays busy post-Juno

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