EXCLUSIVE: Rachael Leigh Cook is set as the female lead opposite Eric McCormack in the TNT drama pilot Perception. The project, from ABC Studios, centers on Dr. Geoffrey Pierce (McCormack), an eccentric, frequently erratic and absolutely brilliant university professor in neuropsychiatry who helps the FBI solve complex cases. Cook will play sexy, sharp-tonged and smart FBI agent Kate Rossi who recruited her former professor Pierce to work for the bureau. The setup appears similar to that on Castle between Nathan Fillion’s Richard Castle and Stana Katic’s Kate Beckett and on The Mentalist between Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane and Robin Tunney’s Teresa Lisbon. Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman co-wrote the pilot, with Alan Poul directing. Cook, who started off as a teen actress, recently recurred on USA’s Psych.
Former Dexter director-producer Michael Cuesta, who most recently helmed the pilot for CBS’ cop family drama Blue Bloods, has signed on to direct Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland, a psychological thriller from former 24 showrunner Howard Gordon based on an Israeli format.
In other notable recent pilot director signings, former Six Feet Under director-executive producer Alan Poul has been tapped to direct and executive produce TNT’s drama pilot Perception starring Eric McCormack as a brilliant neuroscientist helping the FBI, Gregory Hoblit (Untraceable) is set to direct another TNT pilot, the untitled Allan Loeb cop drama project starring Steven Weber and D.L Hughley, which is based on Marshall Karp’s novel The Rabbit Factory. On the broadcast side, Danny Cannon has come on board to direct Fox’s drama pilot Alcatraz. The gig marks Cannon’s first collaboration with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, which is co-producing the pilot with Warner Bros. TV. Cannon, who made his TV directing debut on the pilot for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced CSI, has worked primarily with the WBTV-based Bruckheimer TV. His most notable effort on a non-Bruckheimer-produced project came last spring when he directed and executive produced the CW/WBTV pilot Nikita.
At ABC Family, Wendey Stanzler is directing drama pilot Nine Lives starring Skyler Samuels and Amy Pietz, Keith Truesdell is shooting the untitled Brenda Hampton pilot, and …