Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Ugly Betty and True Blood alum Grant Bowler has been tapped as the lead in Syfy’s new original series Defiance. The project is a live-action drama, written/executive produced by Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon, which was developed concurrently with an online video game by Trion. “Grant’s charismatic charm and his depth as an actor make him the perfect anchor as we build the ensemble for this sweeping adventure series,” said Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern.

Set on a future Earth, Defiance introduces players and viewers to a world where humans and aliens live together on a planet ravaged by decades of war and transformed by alien terra-forming machines. It centers on Jeb Nolan (Bowler), the law-keeper in a bustling frontier boomtown that is one of the new world’s few oasis of civility and inclusion. Nolan is a former Marine who fought in the alien conflict and suffered the loss of his wife and child in the war. The trauma transformed him into a lone wanderer in the wilds of this new and dangerous world. Defiance seems to be blending Western and alien themes, something that last year’s feature Cowboys & Aliens attempted to do, but the series is set in the future. New Zealander Bowler is best known for his recurring roles as Vanessa Williams’ squeeze on Ugly Betty, as werewolf Cooter on True Blood and as Capt. Gault on Lost. Scott Stewart (Legion) is directing the series, which is slated to begin production April 2012 in Toronto. Universal Cable Prods is producing.

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