Actress-filmmaker Lina Esco has been cast as a regular in Ryan Murphy‘s HBO pilot Open, a provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. It centers on five central characters played by Michelle Monaghan, Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley, Anna Torv and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Esco will play Gina, a smoking hot and extremely ambitious employee at Jonathan’s sports management agency (and the object of his sexting and extra-curricular exploits) who will stop at nothing to get the job promotion AND her man. Esco, repped by Luber Roklin, co-starred opposite Miley Cyrus in LOL and wrote and directed her first film, the provocative Free The Nipple.
EXCLUSIVE: After fielding interest from multiple networks, Open, the racy new drama spec from Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy, has gone to HBO, which has given it a pilot order. Casting is expected to begin shortly for filming in the fall. Open, which Murphy co-wrote with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. It hails from Fox 21, the cable division of 20th Century Fox TV, where Murphy is under a rich overall deal. This marks the first project at HBO for 20th TV/Fox21, whose maiden project at fellow premium cable network Showtime was the Emmy-winning drama Homeland. “Gary (Newman), Bert (Salke) and I have been looking for the right opportunity to be in business with HBO for awhile, and this show represents the exact right opportunity,” said 20th TV chairman Dana Walden. “Its provocative storytelling and Ryan’s trademark production values and rich, layered characters make it a perfect fit for the HBO brand.”
Open expands HBO’s relationship with Murphy, where he is directing a passion project of his, the film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s celebrated Broadway play The Normal Heart. It is through that movie that HBO president Michael Lombardo got to know Murphy and observe his talent first-hand. Then he got the call from 20th TV and was given the Open script. “I was hooked,” Lombardo said. “I think it is a perfect marriage of an idea and execution. This is an area we’ve been talking about doing something in for some time, and Ryan did it in a way that is enormously engaging. We’re thrilled doing this project with him, Dana and Gary.”
EXCLUSIVE: In what will likely be one of the biggest cable sales of the year, Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy is out shopping a racy new project. Open, which he is creating and writing with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. The subject matter seems to lend itself to premium cable, though I hear selected basic cable networks are also being pitched. The project just hit the marketplace, and I hear there are already multiple networks bidding. Open marks Murphy’s first project with Fox 21, the cable production division of 20th Century Fox TV where Murphy is under a rich overall deal.