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Ted Danson, Jean Smart join 'Fargo's' second season

TV veteran Ted Danson is joining the cast

TV veteran Ted Danson is joining the cast of FX's "Fargo." Credit: Andreas Branch/

Ted Danson, who had a long memorable run on "Damages" -- and some other little show called "Cheers" -- has joined the second season of "Fargo," the surprise FX hit that turned out to be an Emmy and Golden Globe magnet too. Jean Smart is also joining the series, the network just announced.

And yet another big name arriving next season: Patrick Wilson, who's had a long distinguished Broadway career.

Here are FX's character and production notes. (The 10-episode mini arrives in the fall.) ...

"The all new 'true crime' case of Fargo’s new chapter travels back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota, where a young State Police Officer, 'Lou Solverson' (Wilson), recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate. Helping him piece things together is his father-in-law, 'Sheriff Hank Larsson' (Danson). ...

"Patrick Wilson will star as 'Lou Solverson,' a clean-cut Minnesota State Patrolman, four years back from Vietnam, where he served in the Navy. A humble and competent man, Lou is a devoted husband to his wife 'Betsy' (yet to be cast), and father to four-year-old 'Molly' (yet to be cast).

"Ted Danson will play 'Hank Larsson,' the Sheriff of Rock County, Minnesota. An unflappable WWII vet who embodies a certain cowboy poetry, Hank is Lou’s father-in-law.

"Jean Smart will play 'Floyd Gerhardt,' the matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. She’s stood by her husband’s side for 40 years, but now that he’s out of the picture she thinks it’s her turn to run things."

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