Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland has assembled a pretty solid cast. Former Life star Damian Lewis has been tapped to star opposite Claire Danes in the pilot from 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. Lewis will play the male lead in the project, which centers on Marine Sergeant Scott Brody (Lewis), who returns home after spending eight years as a prisoner of war in Baghdad, and Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a driven CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. Scott, who was discovered during a U.S. attack on an enemy base, was brought to the U.S. with much fanfare and is happy to be home with his family, wife Jessica (Laura Fraser), and two kids, but still carries with him the trauma of his imprisonment and torture. Lewis, a British screen and stage actor, is best known in the U.S. for his roles in the NBC quirky drama Life and HBO’s Emmy-winning World War II mini-series Band of Brothers.

Also cast in Homeland is another British actor, David Harewood (Blood Diamond). He will play David Estes, the the youngest Deputy Director of Intelligence in CIA history, decisive, political, professional, but ultimately self-serving who is frequently exasperated by Carrie’s obsessive determination to follow up any lead, no matter how small or politically inconvenient. Production on the pilot, whose cast also includes Mandy Patinkin, is slated to begin Jan. 10 in Charlotte, N.C.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.