EXCLUSIVE: James Murray (Chaos) and Patrick Heusinger (Royal Pains) are set to co-star in the NBC drama pilot Beautiful People. The project, written by Michael McDonald, is set in the near future in a society where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like people but are treated like second-class citizens. It centers on the very wealthy Lydia whose late husband founded the firm that makes Mechanicals. Murray will play her son, a handsome and very successful attorney who’s lived a rich and privileged life but makes a name for himself by publicly suggesting that Mechanicals might have civil rights — a notion that’s largely scoffed at. Heusinger will play a family man employed as a servant in Lydia’s home who is in fact a Mechanical, but after one of his daughters is killed in a car accident, he proves to be “defective” as he’s plagued with forbidden emotions like grief and loss. The pilot, co-produced by ABC Studios and Universal TV, will be directed by Stephen Hopkins.
On the heels of Chaos landing a midseason series order at CBS, one of the show’s co-stars, British actor James Murray, has signed with UTA where he will be represented by Theresa Peters. Murray, best known in the U.S. for his roles on ITV’s Primeval and Comedy Central’s Krod Mandoon, had been without U.S. agency representation. He will continue to be managed by Generate and also repped by U.K.’s United Agents. Murray was pursued by multiple Hollywood agencies after getting buzz for his role in the pilot for Chaos, about a group of rogue CIA operatives led by Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) combating bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence, and political infighting. Murray plays a hard-living member of the ODS team who formerly worked for the British Secret Service.
Tom Spezialy’s CIA drama pilot Chaos completed its remarkable comeback with a midseason series order at CBS. The network and producing studio 20th Century Fox TV just closed a deal for a 13-episode order to the Brett Ratner-directed pilot. Chaos was presumed dead 3 weeks ago when CBS and 20th TV could not come to an agreement after 5 weeks of negotiations and the options on the actors were let to expire on June 30. But in the past 3 days, the network and the studio were able to patch things up on the dealmaking front (the lunch CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler had with 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman on Monday certainly helped) and to get the cast back. Closing the deals for the actors was no small feat, especially as it was accomplished in 48 hours. Coming back for the series are the pilot’s star Freddy Rodriguez and co-stars Eric Close, James Murray, Tim Blake Nelson and Carmen Ejogo. Per decision the network and studio made right after the upfront, Stephen Rea, who was also in the pilot, will be recast.
Chaos joins another comeback kid at 20th TV, drama pilot Breakout Kings, which landed a pickup at A&E after being passed on by Fox. At CBS, Chaos joins the network’s other midseason drama series, Criminal Minds: Suspect …