Nellie Andreeva

Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Doris Roberts is returning to active series duty with a co-starring role in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Roberts will play Aunt Lee, a meticulously coiffed southern belle with a doomsday attitude who runs the cash register at the diner. She recently did an arc on another ABC comedy, The Middle, toplined by her Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton.

Julian Morris has been cast in Fox’s pilot Guilty, a legal drama from Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, which centers on Billy Remz, a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been banned from handling and to exact revenge on the men who set him up. Morris, repped by Gersh and Brillstein, will play an eager young attorney, dazzled and intimidated by Billy’s self-confidence and breezy ability when it comes to breaking the rules. McG is directing the Warner Bros. TV pilot written by Guggenheim.

Elyes Gabel has been added to the cast of the CBS drama pilot Widow Detective, written by David Hubbard and produced by CSI maven Carol Mendelsohn. The project, directed by Davis Guggenheim, centers on Denny, a decorated police detective who, after losing three partners in the line of duty, becomes surrogate husband, lover and father to their families. Gabel will play Troy, a newly-made detective at the LAPD and Danny’s new partner, who is the son of one of the widows. Gabel, repped by Paradigm, UK’s Troika and manager Nicolas Bernheim, has recurred on Borgias and Game Of Thrones and will next be seen in the features World War Z and Welcome To The Punch.

Dayo Okeniyi has been cast in ABC’s comedy pilot Prairie Dogs. The single-camera project, from writers/executive producers Jackie and Jeff Filgo and ABC Studios, centers on Neil (Kal Penn), an uncool cubicle worker aka “prairie dog” at one of the coolest companies in the world who becomes the victim of identity theft. When he discovers the thief has created a much more fulfilling life with his identity than he ever has, he engages the charismatic conman to help him change his life. Nigerian-born Okeniyi will play a co-worker of Neil’s, an earnest and cheerful African immigrant. The actor, repped by Sweeney Entertainment, will next be seen in The Hunger Games.

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