EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Ari Parker has been cast as one of the leads in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC drama pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives. It is described as thriller-dramatic soap that centers on a murder and the secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three suburban couples and their families exposed in its aftermath. Parker will play half of one of the three couples, Paula, a tough and strikingly beautiful trophy wife who, after 12 years of a troubled marriage, questions whether to stay with her husband because of love or respect… all while having no idea that he is financially ruined. She joins Perret Reeves, recently cast as another wife. Parker, repped by Gersh and KLWGN, is coming off a full Broadway run of A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Blair Underwood.
EXCLUSIVE: Annie Potts is set to star opposite Kyle Howard and Joel David Moore in the USA Network comedy pilot Paging Dr. Freed. Written by Michael Feldman and to be directed by Marc Buckland, the single-camera comedy centers on gynecologist brothers David (Howard) and Jonathan (Moore) who inherit their father’s thriving medical practice after he dies from a heart attack he suffers during an attempt at “playing” doctor with his young secretary. Potts will play the brothers’ ball-busting, overbearing mother who hates Jonathan’s wife (Leslie Grossman) and keeps meddling in her sons’ lives. It has been a busy last couple of days for Potts, who also booked a recurring role on the new NBC comedy series Animal Practice where she also plays the mother of the lead who is a doctor, veterinarian Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk).
It took almost a year, but USA Network has closed a deal for a pilot order to single-camera comedy Paging Dr. Freed. The network has finalized the pilot pickups for both Paging Dr. Freed and the Denis Leary-produced single-camera comedy Sirens. The move is significant as it creates a deal template for half-hour series on USA, which is returning to the comedy business after more a decade. Paging Dr. Freed is from 20th TV’s Fox21, while Sirens is produced by Fox TV Studios, which also operates under the 20th TV umbrella.
USA Network, which is holding its first upfront presentation during the traditional broadcast upfront week this afternoon, has announced a couple of greenlights and a slew of drama, comedy and reality projects in development from the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Dick Wolf, Bryan Fuller, Doug Liman & David Bartis, Howie Mandel, Mark Gordon, Kelsey Grammer and Mark Burnett. The pickups include reality pilot Bride Or Best Man and comedy pilots Paging Dr. Freed and Sirens.
The most action is in the comedy arena, where USA prepares for the fall 2013 arrival of its first off-network comedy acquisition, the hit Modern Family. The network’s goal is to have an original series ready by then to be paired with the Emmy-winning ABC comedy. USA is now finalizing the pilot order deals for two half-hour hopefuls: Paging Dr. Freed and the Dennis Leary-produced Sirens. Meanwhile, the network has opted not to go forward with its first comedy pilot greenlighted as part of its current push in the genre, the single-camera Douglas McGrath project starring Nathan Lane. “We love Nathan, he was really good but we are not sure if this is the first comedy series we want to go out with,” USA co-president Jeff Wachtel said. The Nathan Lane project and medical comedy Paging Dr. Freed were greenlighted together last September.