The CW has made five new drama series pickups, with all early standouts making the cut. That includes the Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries, the Green Arrow-themed Arrow, the contemporary reboot of the 1980s series Beauty and the Beast, mystery Cult and medical drama First Cut starring Mamie Gummer.
Picking up five new scripted series is a record for the CW which, under new topper Mark Pedowitz, has vowed to increase the amount of originals on the air at any time, avoiding long spells of repeats. The CW also has been planning to employ the cable model of shorter seasons with some of its series, including Cult, which had been envisioned from the get-go as doing 13 episodes a season. There had been speculation that the CW would pick up as many as 5-6 of its eight pilots to series. The sixth drama pilot that had been in serious contention but did not get a nod today was the book adaptation The Selection whose chances were boosted by its similarities to the blockbuster Hunger Games movie franchise. Were those similarities too close for comfort?
The large number of new series pickups does not bode well for the CW many bubble series but a couple, like Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and maybe Nikita, would likely make the cut. Studio-wise, three of the five new CW series, Carrie Diaries, Arrow and Cult, hail from Warner Bros. TV, the other two from CBS TV Studios. Two of the series are co-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s WBTV-based Fake Empire, while Arrow is with Berlanti Prods. Read More »
Heroes alum Jack Coleman has been cast in the CW’s Jennie Snyder Urman medical drama pilot aka First Cut. The project, from CBS TV Studios and producer Dan Jinks, centers on Emily (Mamie Gummer), a newly minted doctor who, glad to leave her nerdy past behind for a fresh start in the adult professional world, discovers that, sadly and comically, life at the hospital where she works is no different than high school. Coleman, repped by Domain and manager Steven Levy, will play Chief Tim Granger, the demanding and intimidating chief of staff at Denver Memorial Hospital. He currently recurs on The Office and The Vampire Diaries.
Aaron D. Spears (The Bold & The Beautiful) and Richard Roundtree have been cast opposite Gabrielle Union in Single Black Female, BET’s hourlong pilot from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the husband-and-wife duo behind the cable network’s hit comedy series The Game. Written by The Game creator Brock Akil, Single Black Female chronicles the work and family life of popular talk show host Mary Jane (Union). Spears, repped by Stone Manners Salners and Golan & Blumberg, will play Mark Bradley, a charismatic co-anchor and close friend to Mary Jane. Roundtree will play Mary Jane’s father. Read More »
British actor Max Brown (Spooks) has been added to the cast of the CW/CBS Studios pilot Beauty & The Beast. Loosely based on the 1980s CBS series, the project centers on Catherine (Kristin Kreuk), a tough-minded NYPD homicide detective. Brown will play Evan, a medical examiner who regularly works with Catherine. Brown, repped by UTA, UK’s United Agents and Luber Roklin, was a series regular on Showtime’s The Tudors.
Necar Zadegan (24) has been cast in the CW medical drama First Cut, playing Gina, a rock-star heart surgeon. She is with APA and Yoni Ovadia.
Meanwhile, after lengthy negotiations, The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal has closed his deal to star in Frank Darabont’s TNT drama pilot L.A. Noir, a fast-paced crime drama set in Los Angeles during the 1940s and ’50s, reuniting with the former Walking Dead showrunner.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW‘s Grey’s Anatomy-esque medical drama pilot First Cut got its McDreamy in former Smallville co-star and CW heartthrob Justin Hartley. Written by Jennie Snyder Urman and produced by CBS TV Studios, First Cut revolves around a newly minted female doctor working at a hospital. Hartley will play Will, a handsome and flirty surgical intern, a golden boy that all girls want to date and all guys want to hang out with. Hartley has a strong following from his role as the Green Arrow on Smallville, and he was a fans’ choice to reprise his role in the CW’s pilot Arrow, a modern retelling of the story of DC Comics character Green Arrow. The part ultimately went to Stephen Amell, and now Hartley is getting a CW pilot lead of his own.