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RTE Television

The Big C

As the failure of her chemotherapy sends her in search of a clinical trial that could save her life, Cathy Jamison (Laura Linney) returns to work and lands a job coaching the high school swim team. But just as she begins getting her life back on track and agrees to house a student whose family is moving to Africa, her husband, Paul (Oliver Platt), loses his job and their health insurance. Meanwhile, Cathy must confront a fellow trial patient's difficult battle with cancer and the baby that her best friend is having with her mentally unstable brother, Sean (John B. Hickey), all while her son, Adam (Gabriel Basso), struggles with his emerging sexuality. And in the wake of a Thanksgiving dinner gone awry, a series of tragic events serves to underscore the harsh realities of the difficult road ahead for Cathy. Season two guest stars include Alan Alda, Cynthia Nixon, Hugh Dancy and Parker Posey.

Season 3

In the wake of Paul's (Oliver Platt) near-fatal heart attack, Cathy (Laura Linney) prods him to join her at a creative retreat run by cancer survivor and "joyologist" Joy Kleinman (guest star Susan Sarandon). While the initially wary Oliver dives into Joy's method, Cathy decides to give their lives new purpose by adopting a baby. However, aided by his new assistant Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe), Oliver's unexpected success as a motivational speaker distracts him from becoming a new parent. As their son Adam (Gabriel Basso) explores religion and sex, Cathy's brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey) launches a new career as a phone sex operator. And even as Cathy finds strength in a new alter ego when her adoption effort falls apart, her ongoing struggle with cancer and her deteriorating marriage force her to once again confront her own mortality. Guest stars include Alan Alda, Victor Garber, Mamie Gummer and Allison Janney.

The Big C
  • RTÉ Two, Thursday, 10.50pm