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‘Pan Am’ Hires Male Lead, ‘Smothered’ Gets Female Lead And More Pilot Castings

Nellie Andreeva

Jonah Lotan (Generation Kill) has landed the male lead in ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, writer Jack Orman and director Thomas Schlamme, is a sexy soap set against the Jet Age that revolves around pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airlines in the 1960s. Lotan, repped by Gersh and Luber Roklin, will play the charismatic and confident Dean, who has just been made captain of the amazing new Pan Am clipper the Majestic.

Brooke D’Orsay has landed the female lead in the ABC multi-camera comedy pilot Smothered, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. The Warner Bros. TV-produced project centers on young couple Zack (Kyle Howard) and Gillian (D’Orsay), who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents. D’Orsay, repped by the Kohner Agency, is recurring on USA’s Royal Pains as the girlfriend of Evan (Paulo Costanzo).

Gabriel Mann has joined ABC’s drama pilot Revenge. Written by Mike Kelley and to be directed by Phillip Noyce, it is a contemporary re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo from a female perspective and centers on Emily Thorn (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people … Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: Source Material – Books & Public Domain Properties Are In, Twitter Out

Nellie Andreeva

Part of a series that takes an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

Once upon a time, there was a pilot season ruled by classic fairy tales and characters, real-life stories and books, with a dash of iconic brands and foreign formats.

Projects based on source material are very popular this pilot season, with public domain properties emerging as the hot novelty in the arena with two pilots, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm, featuring popular fairytale characters like Brothers Grimm’s Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin as well as evergreens the Evil Queen and Prince Charming. Also based on a public domain property is ABC’s drama pilot Poe, about Edgar Allan Poe investigating mysteries in 1840s Boston, while another ABC drama pilot, Revenge, is a contemporary re-imagining of Alexandre Dumas, pere’s The Count of Monte Cristo.

Two iconic U.S. brands, Playboy and Pan Am, also inspired pilots this season, NBC’s Playboy and ABC’s Pan Am, both period dramas set in the 1960s.

Overall, books were the most ubiquitous source material among this year’s crop of broadcast pilots. The trend started during pitch season, when projects based on books were a hot property, and carried over to pilot season, with a significant portion of … Read More »

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Pilot Season: High-Concept Dramas, Male- Centered Comedies & Zombies On The Menu

Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline TV coverage, is taking an analytical and irreverent look at the recurring themes in these year’s crop of broadcast pilots.

In assessing the 79 series pilots that are competing for primetime slots at the five broadcast networks during the 2011-2012 season, a few trends quickly emerge, namely: manhood is under siege, parents are obsessed with meddling, zombies are alive and well (relatively speaking), opposites attract, and just about everybody seems to be on some sort of rebound. Moreover, pretty much every permutation of domestic life and dysfunction is being trotted out for a once-over as the networks seek to uncover the next Modern Family or Two and a Half Men. And the popularity of Glee has helped to inspire a musical bent for three pilots.

Multicamera comedy is making a strong showing beyond its usual singular home of CBS. Too, high-concept drama is having a modest resurgence – and both period soaps (ABC’s Pan Am, NBC’s Playboy) and reboots of past classics (NBC’s Wonder Woman from David E. Kelley, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels) are again in vogue, at least in the pilot world. Another hour (ABC’s Grace, from writer-exec producer Krista Vernoff) sounds remarkably like the plotline for the 1979 Bob Fosse film classic All That Jazz, with this one starring Eric Roberts in the lead as a famed choreographer who sleeps with his dancers and has three daughters with different mothers.

Besides Grace, those tuneful contenders … Read More »

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Christina Ricci, Jaime King And Annie Potts Get Pilot Starring Roles

Nellie Andreeva

In her first major TV gig, Christina Ricci has closed a deal to star in ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, writer Jack Orman and director Thomas Schlamme, is a sexy soap set against the Jet-Age about pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s. Ricci, repped by ICM and Management 360, will play the lead, Maggie, a fiery stewardess who is leading a double life – on duty she is a beautiful, perfectly groomed and poised stewardess, and off duty she is earthy, bohemian living among the beatniks and intellectuals of Greenwich Village. Exec producing are Orman, Schlamme and producer Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am flight attendant.

Jaime King is set to co-star opposite Rachel Bilson in CW’s drama pilot Hart of Dixie. The project, from  writer Leila Gerstein, WBTV and Fake Empire, is a comedic drama centered on a young New York City doctor (Bilson) who inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by an eclectic and eccentric group of characters. King, repped by Gersh and Raw Talent, will play a beautiful, overly effusive young woman, one of the elite “Blue Belles”, a group of southern debutante-types who keep the town history alive by performing in period dress.

Annie Potts has been tapped for … Read More »

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Megan Dodds, Orlando Jones Among Latest Pilot Cast Additions

Nellie Andreeva

Megan Dodds has landed the female lead opposite Ethan Hawke in Fox’s drama pilot Exit Strategy, a high-octane procedural about a team of 5 experts associated with the CIA led by Eric Shaw (Hawke) who are deployed when a CIA operation goes bad to extract the ones involved before it’s too late. Dodds will play Dr. Hannah Burke, the medic on the team who has a genius-level IQ,  trusts no one and appears to have a romantic connection with Shaw. Antoine Fuqua is directing the pilot for 20th TV and Kurtzman/Orci. Exit Strategy brings Dodds, repped by ICM and U.K.’s Independent Talent, back to Fox and 20th TV. Two years ago, she had a talent deal with the network and studio, which led to her casting in the pilot Courtroom K.

Michael Mosley has boarded ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am, a sexy soap set against the Jet-Age about pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s. The Scrubs alum repped by Gersh and Smith Talent Group, will play a co-pilot, a waggish jokester with a buzz cut and an infectious smile.

Orlando Jones has closed his deal to join ABC’s drama pilot Identity. The project, from ABC Studios and Eagle Eye scribe John Glenn, is … Read More »

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‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ Gets New Captain, ‘Pan Am’ Gets First Stewardess

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran character actor Jay O. Sanders has been tapped for a major new role on the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA. He will play the new captain of the Major Case Squad and boss to Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe). Sanders will appear in all eight episodes of the show’s upcoming tenth season. This is the fourth captain on L&O:CI following Jamey Sheridan’s Capt. James Deakins, Eric Bogosian’s Capt. Danny Ross and, most recently, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s Zoe Callas in Season 9. Sanders, who has rarely done TV,  is not new to the L&O franchise. He has guest starred on both L&O:CI and the mothership L&O series. The actor, who has appeared in such movies as The Day After Tomorrow and Revolutionary Road, next co-stars in Green Lantern.

In her first U.S. gig, young Australian actress Margot Robbie has landed a lead role on ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am, a sexy soap set against the Jet-Age about pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s. Robbie will play Laura, a radiantly beautiful new stewardess whose candid graduation shot is on the cover of Life Magazine. Robbie, repped by Management 360 and Australia’s Aran Michael Management, most recently co-starred on the long-running Australian soap Neighbours.

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