EXCLUSIVE: Actor Jeff Hephner just got his big break, landing the lead role in NBC’s drama pilot Playboy. The project, from 20th TV, Imagine TV and writer-executive producer Chad Hodge, is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. Hephner went through rigorous auditioning process, beating a number of better known actors for the role, the last major part in the pilot to get cast. And he certainly has the right last name for it that sounds exactly like the moniker of the king of the Playboy empire, Hugh Hefner.
Playboy centers on Nick Dalton (Hephner), described as “the ultimate playboy.” He is an attorney in Chicago and a Keyholder at the glamorous, exclusive Playboy Club. A fixer who knows how to make problems disappear, he has mysterious ties to the mob. The pilot, directed by Alan Taylor, co-stars Laura Benanti, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Leah Renee, David Krumholtz and Wes Ramsey. Hephner, repped by Paradigm and the Group Entertainment, is recurring on CW’s Hellcats and has also done arcs on NBC’s Mercy and Fox’s The O.C.
ABC’s comedy comedy pilot has found the leads for its comedy pilot My Freakin’ Family: Ellen Woglom and Ravi Patel. Christopher Rich also has been cast in the project, which centers on two young parents, Anna (Woglom) and Raj (Patel), whose lives change after they have a baby and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives to fight for the soul of their grandchild. Rich will play Anna’s dad, an affable suburban cowboy. Harish Patel was previously cast as Raj’s dad. Ravi Patel, repped by TalentWorks and Seven Summits, played the lead in Fox’s comedy pilot Nevermind Nirvana last year.
Janet McTeer is set to co-star in the Fox drama pilot Weekends at Bellevue. Based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir, Bellevue centers on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. McTeer, nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for Tumbleweeds, will play Diane, the head of psychiatry at Bellevue.
Zoe Lister-Jones has been cast in NBC’s untitled Whitney Cummings comedy pilot. The project, written by Cummings, centers on young couple Whitney (Cummings) and Alex (Chris D’Elia) who tackle the ups and downs of a committed relationship torn between their friends Lily (Lister-Jones) and Neal who think … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Now that’s a gig few male actors could pass up — playing the boss of a Playboy club. After a slew of castings of beautiful young actresses as Playboy bunnies, former Numbers star David Krumholtz is set for a co-starring role in NBC’s drama pilot Playboy. In the 20th/Imagine TV project, set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963, Krumholtz will play the club’s general manager, a young Albert Brooks and a bottom-line kind of guy, a bit of a nerd who now gets to play with the cool kids.
Additionally, Krumholtz, repped by CAA and the Collective, is developing Igotchaback, a half-hour single-camera comedy for FX based loosely on the lives of legendary rap artist and Wu Tang Clan founding member GZA and his publicist Heathcliff Berru. The project, which Krumholtz is executive producing with an eye to star, centers on an up-and-coming music industry manager tasked with representing an aging rap star mired knee-deep in existential crisis.
Last pilot season, Krumholtz starred in another 20th TV/Imagine pilot, Fox comedy Tax Man.
Amber Heard (Zombieland) and Naturi Naughton (Fame) are set as leads in the NBC drama pilot Playboy. The project, from 20th TV/Imagine TV, is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. CAA-repped Heard, who had been in talks for the project, will play Maureen, a new hire at the club, originally an orphan from Fort Wayne, an inquisitive young woman with an untethered sexuality and a dark past. Naughton, repped by Innovative and Luber Roklin, will play Brenda, a stunning African-American Bunny determined to become the first black Playboy centerfold who is Maureen’s confidante and roommate in the Bunny Dormitory. Interestingly, she also played a 1960s Black Playboy bunny in the Hands and Knees episode of Mad Men last year. Alan Taylor, who directed the pilot for AMC’s Mad Men, is directing Playboy from a script by Chad Hodge.
Amber Heard (Zombieland) is in talks for a lead role on the NBC drama pilot Playboy. The project, from 20th TV/Imagine TV, is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. Heard would play a new hire at the club, originally an orphan from Fort Wayne, an inquisitive young woman with an untethered sexuality and a dark past. Alan Taylor, who directed the pilot for AMC’s Mad Men, is directing Playboy from a script by Chad Hodge.