'Fringe' Exclusive: Amy Madigan cast as Olivia's mom

fringe-mom-torvImage Credit: Justin Stephens/Fox; Madigan: Albert L. Ortega/PRIt’s not Rene Russo (a.k.a. my first choice) but this will do very nicely: Fringe has cast Amy Madigan in the pivotal role of Olivia’s mother, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The Oscar-nominated actress — who’s most recently played shrink to those head cases over on Grey’s Anatomy — will appear in roughly four episodes beginning with the season premiere when (and I’m just speculating here) mother and daughter reunite in the alterna-verse.

The original casting breakdown for Mama D. described her as “lovely and together” and deeply devoted to her daughter.

Thoughts on the casting? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Thumbs sideways? Sound off below!

TV scoop is best served instantaneously, so follow me on Twitter via @michaelausiello

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Comments (137 total) Add your comment
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  • Bobbi

    Good choice! I like her.

    • Kat

      Amy Madigan rocks. I’ve never seen Fringe but will tune in for her.

      • LoliRyder

        It’s an awesome show but you might get more out of it by seeing/renting/downloading the previous seasons (or at least season 2). Totally worth your time.

      • molly

        if you cast her – they will come…………..

      • Chidi

        You’ve never seen Fringe?? There are punishments for such admissions… Rush down to your nearest BlockBuster and start with Season 1. You will be entertained.

    • EMcG

      100% agree… I’ve loved her since “Field of Dreams.” She’s fabulous, amazing and just plain cool.

    • Angele

      Great choice!!!

    • larry

      she was great in Uncle Buck!

    • yogibibs@hotmail.com

      I think she’ll be great in the role. Fringe is such an amazing show. Glad this is taking over since we will be missing Lost. I don’t like Rene Russo for Olivia’s mother. Amy will bring depth to the character. Two thumbs up for me!

    • jbehme

      If all past episodes are an indication of Fringe’s high standards, not to mention raising the bar way up there for acting and intelligent TV drama, I’m sure Amy Madigan will make the part her own.

  • tjj50

    That could work. They both have those raspy voices, and I’ve seem Amy play the warm mama type before.

    • darclyte

      Dead on casting! Kudos!

    • Gwen

      There’s a physical resemblance, too. I love Amy Madigan (“Field of Dreams” especially…”Bertha, you Nazi cow!”)

  • Sarah

    She’s amazing! Absolutely wonderful on Carnivale. And she was great on Criminal Minds too. I’m very, very excited about this.

  • 125

    Seriously? Not cool. Not cool at all.

    • Barney

      Not cool? Why?

      • Alan of Montreal

        125, go post elsewhere on something you know about. On second thought, don’t–you know nothing.

      • Rebecca

        Alan of Montreal, lay off. 125 is allowed to not like the choice if they don’t want to. Don’t be a jerk.

        Personally I think this is awesome casting! Love her in Greys, hopefully she get more to do on fringe though.

  • Andrea

    She was so cool in Street of Fire!

  • Kyle

    oooooh! i like! she was especially good in carnivale.

    • Nelly

      I knew I recognize her from somewhere! She was fantastic in Carnivale, I can’t wait.

  • Andrew

    I was hoping for someone more well-known…Oh well, I’ll still watch.

  • sashay

    Wow I can’t believe Amy looks that old! I guess she superficially looks like Anna, so it might work. I just remember her back when she played the ingenue in movies.

  • CaveLight

    Ha, that´s so funny: I started watching Carnivale this week, loked her up in imdb – and guess what – she’s in it…

    I don´t know about the choice, though, still would have prefered:
    Fionnula Flanagan, lol

    • Mike

      Hilarious I luv Eloise Hawking too;but Madigan is awesome as sister iris on Carnivale. Fringe just gets better and better.

    • Kyle

      no! that’d be bad! she’d be like a copy/paste version of her character on lost!

    • ythu

      Carnivale was a great show, much better then True Blood

  • JimC

    I like the choice. Casting has always been a strong suit for JJ.

    • Kim

      I agree. He does his due diligence.

  • Mincha


  • mario

    this news jsut amde my day. she was fantastic on Carnivale (one of my top shows), great as jane on Criminal Minds (along with keith carradine) and she was the highlight for Grey’s Anatomy during season 4. So glad to have her on Fringe (my new “IT” show)

  • Megan

    I think this could work..I look forward to the premire!

  • Markham

    Nice choice. But omg, Amy Madigan is 59?!? Damn.

    • Alan of Montreal

      well, remember she was the lawyer in TV movie Roe vs. Wade, which was in the late 80s, and she’s also married to Ed Harris, who’s also up there in age.

      • deana

        Maybe they can get Ed Harris to costar opposite his wife — he’d make an AWESOME Observer.

  • Michelle

    Owen’s therapist?! Really?! Well, as long as she doesn’t psychoanalyze Liv, I guess it’ll be okay. I wonder how she’s gonna react when she finds out that *her* daughter is in an alternate universe?

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