Angela Bassett is set as a lead in ABC’s drama pilot Identity. The project, from ABC Studios, Mark Gordon Co. and writer John Glenn, is an action procedural based on a British format, which centers on an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime. Bassett will play Martha, the Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s new Identity Crimes Unit. Bronx-tough Vassar graduate from Greenwich, Martha is determined to make a go of this division, using sophisticated technology combined with good old fashioned investigative methods. The casting extends Bassett’s relationship with ABC, ABC Studios and producer Mark Gordon. Earlier this pilot season, she was attached to ABC’s drama project One Police Plaza, which was developed for her through ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co. In it, she was slated to play another top New York law enforcement officer, the city’s first female commissioner. Bassett, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse, will next be seen in Jumping the Broom and Green Lantern. On TV, she most recently co-starred on the final season of ER.
Abigail Spencer (Mad Men) has landed the female lead opposite Eric Roberts in ABC’s drama pilot Grace, from writer Krista Vernoff. A dysfunctional family drama set in the world of professional dance, it centers on Michael Grace (Roberts), a famous choreographer who tends to sleep with his dancers and has three daughters with different mothers. He is in danger of losing his studio until his daughter Sarah (Spencer), a former dancer-turned-lawyer, decides to buy her father’s studio and run it for him before he loses it. Spencer, repped by ICM and Untitled, recently filmed the features Cowboys and Aliens and A Haunting in Georgia.