EXCLUSIVE: Mehcad Brooks has become the first actor from a cancelled fall series to line up a new pilot gig. Brooks, who had been in demand since the cancellation of ABC’s My Generation, has been tapped to co-star on USA Network’s pilot Necessary Roughness. Meanwhile, Marisa Ramirez, Brandon Quinn and and Chris Johnson have joined Lifetime’s pilot Against the Wall. Roughness, from Sony TV, centers on tough, sexy Long Island divorcee Danielle Santino (Callie Thorne), who, to make ends meet, becomes the therapist for a professional football team and quickly becomes sought after by other athletes, musicians, politicians and those living in the spotlight. Brooks will play one of her clients: a star wide receiver for the Hawks who has been unable to hold onto the ball recently while regularly getting into trouble with the law. Initially pissed about being forced into counseling with Dani, he winds up bonding closely with her. Brooks, who had a memorable season-long arc on HBO’s True Blood as Eggs, is repped by Innovative and Mosaic.
John Heard and Sex and the City alum Evan Handler have joined the cast of the HBO film Too Big to Fail, while Kathy Baker has boarded the Lifetime drama pilot Against the Wall. Directed by Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail dissects the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Heard will play former Lehman Brothers president Joe Gregory, while APA-repped Handler will prortray Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs. They join a star-studded ensemble cast led by William Hurt, James Woods and Paul Giamatti.