Nellie Andreeva

After a lengthy search, The Office‘s Rainn Wilson has been tapped for the title role in the CBS/20th TV drama pilot Backstrom. Also cast in the project, based on the Swedish book series, is Page Kennedy. Written by Bones creator Hart Hanson, Backstrom centers on Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. In addition to starring, Wilson will serve as a producer. He segues to Backstrom straight from The Office, which wrapped production on its ninth and final episode yesterday. Wilson, repped by WME and 3 Arts, played one of the Emmy-winning comedy series’ signature characters, Dwight Schrute, since the pilot. He also co-created and toplined a potential Dwight-centered Office spinoff, The Farm. After it didn’t go forward, Wilson became a hot commodity for pilots, fielding multiple offers. He turned all down, including walking away from a six-episode guarantee on NBC comedy Donor Party, but I hear he responded strongly to Backstrom. This marks Wilson’s return to drama series a decade after his recurring gig on HBO’s Six Feet Under. Kennedy, repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Principato-Young, plays Officer Frank Moto, member of the Special Crimes Unit. He joins co-stars Kristoffer Polaha and Dennis Haysbert.

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