By Michael Ausiello
Updated June 08, 2010 at 06:14 PM EDT

Image Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images; Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotosHere’s another big reason to catch Showtime’s The Big C when it premieres later this summer: The fantastic Idris Elba is joining the cast as a love interest for Laura Linney’s cancer-stricken (and very much married) character.

I’m told the Wire and Office alum will appear in at least four episodes of the dark comedy’s first season, which bows Aug. 16.

The Big C centers on a suburban wife and mother (Linney) whose world is turned upside down when she’s diagnosed with cancer. Oliver Platt costars as the guy Linney’s newly enlightened alter ego may or may not cheat on. [Beat] I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt!

Elba is currently winning raves across the pond for his starring role in BBC One’s six-part psychological thriller Luther. The project makes its debut Stateside later this year on BBC America.

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