UPDATED: Irish actor Ed MacLiam (EastEnders) has been cast as the lead of ABC’s drama pilot Big Thunder. Also cast in the pilot, written by Jason Fuchs, directed by Rob Bowman and executive produced by Melissa Rosenberg, is Twilight‘s Alex Meraz, reuniting with the movie franchise’s writer, Rosenberg. Additionally, Ruth Bradley and Resident Evil‘s Spencer Locke have been added to the project, based on Disney’s roller coaster ride. It centers on Dr. Grant Carson (MacLiam), a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor. He and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful but mysterious tycoon, but quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems. Meraz, repped by Innovative and Leverage, plays a handsome Shoshone tribesman. Irish actress Bradley, who played the female lead in ABC/ABC Studio’s pilot Beauty And The Beast last season, plays Nora, a nanny with a dark, hidden past. The casting stems from her talent holding deal with ABC and ABC Studios. Locke, repped by APA, Jaymee Locke and Scott Whitehead, plays Lizzie, Carson’s beautiful and brilliant teenage daughter. Bradley is with Anonymous Content and UK’s Hamilton/Hodell.
Men Of A Certain Age star Scott Bakula is returning to TNT with a co-starring role opposite Geena Davis in TNT‘s untitled bounty hunter quirky drama pilot from Dean Devlin‘s Electric Entertainment, Ternion Productions and 3 Arts. Written by Scott Prendergast and Amy Berg inspired by the real-life story of bounty hunter Mackenzie Green and directed by Devlin, the drama stars Davis as Mackenzie “Mack” Green, an unconventional bail bondswoman and bounty hunter whose eccentric personality and unusual tactics give her an advantage in a tough and unpredictable business. Bakula will play Mack’s ex-husband Pete, a cop, joining previously cast Gloria Reuben, Marsha Mason and Enrico Colantoni. Bakula, repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content, will next be seen in an April episode of Two And A Half Men, HBO’s Liberace biopic, Behind The Candelabra, and indies Elsa And Fred and Snap.
Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer/showrunner of ABC/ABC Studios’ upcoming drama series Red Widow, has boarded another ABC/ABC Studios drama project as showrunner, pilot Big Thunder. Rob Bowman (Castle) is directing the pilot, written by Jason Fuchs. Based on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster ride, Big Thunder centers on a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor. He and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful, but mysterious tycoon but quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems. For Rosenberg, the gig stems from the overall deal she signed with ABC Studios for her Tall Girls Prods. in October. She executive produces Big Thunder with Fuchs and Chris Morgan. Red Widow, which UTA-repped Rosenberg adapted from the Dutch series Penoza, premieres March 3.