Idris Elba Idris Elba

The Wire's Idris Elba has a multi-episode arc in Showtime's upcoming drama The Big C. And he'll star in and produce Luther, a six-part crime thriller for BBC America.

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The 37-year-old Elba, who portrayed Charles Miner on The Office as well as Stringer Bell on The Wire, will play a love interest for Laura Linney's character, a Showtime rep says.

The Big C, premiering Aug. 16, stars Linney as a suburban housewife who tries to find humor in her cancer diagnosis. Oliver Platt co-stars as her husband.

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On Luther, Elba plays Detective John Luther, a brilliant but emotionally impulsive murder investigator who's locked in a battle of wits with his nemesis and confidante, Alice (Ruth Wilson). The show will hit U.S. airwaves later this year.