EXCLUSIVE: CBS‘ untitled Ralph Lamb drama pilot has added another prominent member to its all-star cast. Terra Nova star Jason O’Mara has been tapped to co-star in the project, joining Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss. For O’Mara, the pilot is in second position to prehistoric drama Terra Nova, which is still alive as talks between series producer 20th Century Fox TV and Netflix about a second season continue. O’Mara has fielded multiple pilot offers since Fox cancelled Terra Nova two weeks ago. Set in the 1960s, the untitled Ralph Lamb project, written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker and directed by James Mangold, chronicles the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid) – rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas – and Johnny Savino (Chiklis), a Chicago mob fixer whose entrepreneurial vision for transforming Las Vegas collides with the law-and-order mandate of Sheriff Lamb. O’Mara will play Ralph Lamb’s younger brother Frank, the diplomat in the family.
Also cast in the pilot in guest-starring roles are Michael Reilly Burke, Michael O’Neill and James Russo. Burke will play A.D.A. Katherine O’Connel’s (Moss) boss, D.A. Reynolds, an alpha prosecutor with a burning ambition for power. O’Neill will play Vegas Mayor Bennett, a man with a vision. He has been bucking the state’s Governor, who wants to move Vegas’s power and money up north to Reno. Russo will play Big Tuna, an old-world gangster who runs Vegas for his Chicago bosses. READ MORE »
Fox has not made a decision on a Terra Nova renewal, but the series’ producers are moving to secure key actors and beef up writer ranks to be ready for production on Season 2. The options on the cast of the prehistoric drama are up on December 31, and I’ve learned that pickups for stars Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang are imminent. With the cast options’ expiration date looming, the network originally was expected to make a decision on the series last week, following a top-level meeting between the heads of 20th Century Fox, which produces Terra Nova, and Fox on December 16. That didn’t happen, but the pickup of sought-after actors O’Mara and Lang gives Fox a little bit of breathing room, and the network is now expected to make its decision in January. That would make for a very tight production schedule on Terra Nova, which has to begin filming in April to make a September premiere date because of the series’ extensive post-production, including visual effects. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA
Fox’s drama Terra Nova is really going to premiere in September, the producers of the megabucks Fox prehistoric drama Terra Nova – which seemingly has been in some form of production since the Jurassic Period — assured critics and at a TCA panel this afternoon. Exec producers Rene Echevarria, Brannon Braga and Jon Cassar insisted that not only would the show be premiering on schedule with a two-hour rollout on Sept. 26; the other installments of the 13-episode production are finally coming along despite the challenging visual effects and production complexities stemming from the Queensland, Australia shoot. The two-hour pilot originally was earmarked to air in May, but issues stemming from the drama’s cutting-edge technology pushed it back to fall.
And now? Will everything be delivered on time? “Absolutely,” Echevarria assured the room. “Right now, we’re shooting episodes 8 and 9. We’re in post on 3, 4 and 5. We’re putting the finishing touches on the second hour of the dinosaur-rich pilot after doing some reshoots in Australia. We’re also prepping episodes 10 and 11. Just about every episode is in play right now … This show certainly is ambitious in scope and has it’s challenges. But we’ve finally wrangled it …There is a pipeline that has been created with the visual effects house as well as the animation and rendering and texturing. Was there a learning curve? Yes.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, British actress Shelley Conn has landed the female lead opposite Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang on Fox’s upcoming adventure series Terra Nova. The project, produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin, follows Jim Shannon (O’Mara), Elizabeth Shannon (Conn) and their 3 kids – an ordinary family from 2149 who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization. Production on Terra Nova Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Avatar co-star Stephen Lang is eyeing time travel in the opposite direction. I hear Lang, who played the baddie in James Cameron’s futuristic sci-fi tale, is in talks for the lead opposite Jason O’Mara on Fox’s prehistoric drama series Terra Nova. He was an early favorite for the role but his feature commitments prevented him from pursuing it until he just became available and received an offer from the Terra Nova producers. (A fun footnote: Terra Nova is originally set in 2149, just 5 years before the events in Avatar.) Lang would play the role of Frank Taylor, the charismatic and ruthless leader of the Terra Nova settlement. Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot for the series.
PREVIOUS 4PM: Terra Nova executive producer David Fury has departed Fox’s upcoming pre-historic drama over creative differences. “He was beloved by the producers on the show, but it just didn’t work out,” a source close to the series Read More »
There’s no question this marquee Steven Spielberg- and Peter Chernin-produced adventure drama series is important to Fox. So the network has decided not to rush it to air and give it the full-on Glee treatment. Terra Nova, originally slated for midseason, … Read More »