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Martin Henderson, Sarah Paulson & Lauren Ambrose Tapped As The Leads Of 3 Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Three high-profile pilots just landed their leads: Martin Henderson will headline NBC’s drama The Crossing, Sarah Paulson will star in NBC’s Kari Lizer comedy and Lauren Ambrose will topline Fox’s drama Weekends at Bellevue.

Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, The Crossing is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Henderson), a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior – whether he likes it or not. The casting is in second position to Henderson’s current series, ABC’s softly-rated midseason drama Off the Map. The Crossing’s female lead is Henderson’s Off the Map co-star Rachelle Lefevre who is also in second position to the ABC medical drama, so NBC is making a big gamble that Off the Map won’t come back for a second season.

The untitled Kari Lizer multicamera comedy, from Warner Bros. TV, is a workplace comedy about a relationship-challenged woman (Paulson) who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. The casting of Paulson lifts the contingency on the project. ICM-repped Paulson was the female lead on NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and ABC’s Cupid. Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she stars, was recently picked up by … Read More »

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Craig Zisk, Alan Poul Set To Direct Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Craig Zisk has served as director-executive producer on two female-centered comedy series, Showtime’s United States of Tara and Weeds. Now he is set to direct 2 comedy pilots, NBC’s Bent and the untitled Kari Lizer project, both of which are built around a central female character. Additionally, former Six Feet Under director-executive producer Alan Poul has signed on to direct ABC’s dramedy pilot presentation Good Christian Bitches.

Bent, which just tapped Amanda Peet for the lead, was written by Tad Quill. It is a single-camera romantic comedy about a recently divorced “type A” single mother (Peet) who tries hard not to fall for the sexy “surfer-dude” contractor she hires to re-do her kitchen. The Kari Lizer project, which has a cast-contingent order, is a multi-camera workplace comedy about a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. Zisk, repped by UTA and Brillstein, is currently the only helmer besides sitcom veteran Andy Ackerman to book 2 pilots this season.

Good Christian Bitches was written by Robert Harling based on the book by Kim Gatlin. it centers on a recently divorced mother of two who, to get a fresh start, moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew to find herself in the whirling midst of salacious … Read More »

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