Old 'Girl' Gets New Small-Screen Star

03/21/2003 11:00AM

Everybody loves a big-screen classic -- which may be why Emmy-winning actress Patricia Heaton is about to star in a remake of Neil Simon's classic film "The Goodbye Girl."

TNT is making the new version for a small-screen appearance, reports Variety. Heaton, 45, of long-running hit series "Everybody Loves Raymond," is in "final negotiations" to re-create the role originated by Marsha Mason -- who nabbed an Oscar nomination for her 1977 turn as the woebegone divorcee sharing her New York apartment with a struggling actor.

Playwright Simon has signed on to rewrite and executive produce the new "Girl," which is a co-production of Warner Bros. TV and TNT (which, like PEOPLE, are owned by AOL Time Warner).

For her part, Heaton -- who's taken home the Emmy twice for her "Raymond" role -- told Variety she's both "ecstatic and nervous" about the job. "When my agent at UTA brought up the possibility, I didn't dare entertain it," she said. "I just love that movie, and Marsha Mason was incredible. And for anyone who loves theater, Neil Simon is an icon."

The role of the would-be actor -- originally played by Richard Dreyfuss -- has not yet been cast, but producers will presumably be working quickly; filming is set to begin this summer.

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