Genevieve Angelson is set as the female lead opposite Rainn Wilson in Fox’s new drama series, Backstrom. Created by Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson based on the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson, Backstrom centers on Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an overweight, offensive, irascible detective who’s engaged in a constant struggle with his self-destructive tendencies. Angelson will play Backstrom’s second in command, Detective Nicole Gravely, tasked with not only keeping the unit together in the face of Backstrom’s behavior but ensuring that his unorthodox investigatory methods hold up in court. Angelson replaces Mamie Gummer, who played the role in the pilot — the only cast change in the project’s transition from CBS, where it was piloted last season, to Fox, where it recently received a 13-episode order for next season. Angelson, repped by UTA and Suskin Management, has an arc on Showtime’s House Of Lies and was in the Tony-winning play Vanya And Sonya And Masha And Spike.
Genevieve Angelson Set As Female Lead In Fox Series ‘Backstrom’; Christopher Denham Joins WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’
After a two-and-and-a-half-year journey at different networks with different writers, the drama adaptation of Leif G.W. Persson’s best-selling Backstrom series of books is finally heading to the screen with a 13-episode order at Fox. The network, which first developed the project during the 2011-12 season, has stepped in to pick up the pilot starring The Office‘s Rainn Wilson, from Bones creator/exec producer Hart Hanson and 20th Century Fox TV, which was ordered by CBS last season. The series centers on Detective Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an offensive, irascible detective, as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Throughout the series, Backstrom leads his team, the Serious Crimes Unit, as they navigate Portland’s most sensitive cases. The entire cast led by Wilson is set to continue with the exception of Mamie Gummer whose character is being tweaked. Hanson is expected to focus his attention on Backstrom, with his top Bones lieutenant Stephen Nathan, who has performed day-to-day showrunner duties on the long-running Fox procedural, including while Hanson ran Bones spinoff The Finder, taking lead, with Hanson having a final say on major decisions.
The project sparked a slew of bidding wars ever since the Backstom books were shopped by LA literary agency RWSG in summer 2011 — when 20th TV won them in a very competitive situation for Stephen Gaghan to adapt. The project with Gaghan as writer triggered another round of heated bidding among all four major networks until landing at Fox with a put pilot commitment for the 2011-12 season but didn’t go to pilot. In July 2012, with Hanson as writer/showrunner, 20th TV again garnered a lot of interest, landing a pilot production commitment at CBS where the script went to pilot last season. After a lengthy and difficult casting process, the pilot got Wilson for the lead and was considered a solid contender but didn’t make the cut to series in May. 20th TV remained high on the project, extending the options on the entire cast through the end of 2013. But it couldn’t make a move as CBS did not release the pilot until its option expired on December 15 when the studio took the project to its original network, Fox, which quickly began negotiations on a series order. “Naturally, all of us who worked on Backstrom thought it was too promising a series to die unseen and (20th TV chairmen) Dana (Walden) and Gary (Newman) were relentless in their support of the project,” said Hanson. “Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at Fox agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks Fox!”
Mamie Gummer, star of the freshman CW drama series Emily Owens MD, is staying …
Boss alum Troy Garity has joined ABC‘s untitled John Leguizamo comedy pilot, co-created and starring Leguizamo and based on his life as a husband, father and fish out of water on New York’s Upper West Side. Garity, repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment, plays Crash, a loyal friend of John’s from the Old Neighborhood who was a talented graffiti artist and now is John’s personal assistant and lives in the basement of John’s brownstone.
Argentinian actor Ezekiel Stremiz has joined Fox comedy pilot Two Wrongs. It centers on Zach (Jake Hoffman) and Jenny (Kelli Garner), a couple whose friends and family don’t think they are right for each other. Recent Hollywood transplant Stremiz, repped by APA and DePaz Management, plays Johnny, Jenny’s unbelievably sexy ex-boyfriend.
CBS has given the long-rumored pilot order to Beverly Hills Cop. The network also has ordered to pilot drama Backstrom, from Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson, and comedy Friends With Better Lives, from writer Dana Klein and producer Aaron Kaplan.
Beverly Hills Cop, which had a pilot production commitment and had already cast Brandon T. Jackson as the lead, is a continuation of the movie franchise centered around Axel Foley’s police officer son, played by Jackson, who takes down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. The films’ star Eddie Murphy is set to appear in the pilot and will executive produce with Shawn Ryan, who wrote the script, as well as Ryan’s producing partner Marney Hochman.