Nellie Andreeva

British actor Theo James has landed the lead in CBS’ drama pilot Golden Boy, from Nick Wootton and Greg Berlanti. The project, produced by Warner Bros TV and Berlanti Prods., centers on Clark (James), a cop, and chronicles his meteoric rise from officer to detective and ultimately police commissioner. Ryan Phillippe was originally tapped for the role but exited shortly thereafter, triggering a lengthy auditioning process that resulted in the casting of James. James, who has a handful of credits in his native Britain, including a lead on the BBC series Bedlam, is virtually unknown in the U.S. aside from a guest spot in the first season of Downton Abbey where he played Kemal Pamuk, the Turk who died in Lady Mary’s bed. He made his Hollywood debut in the recent Underworld: Awakening. James is the latest non-American actor to get the lead in a pilot this pilot season.

RELATED: American Actors Not Fairest Of Them All In Pilot Lead Castings

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

For all of Deadline's headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter.