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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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Aidan Quinn Joins NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’

Nellie Andreeva

Aidan Quinn is set to co-star opposite Maria Bello in NBC’s drama pilot Prime Suspect. The remake of the British series centers on Jane Timoney (Bello), an iconoclastic female detective who has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct that is dominated by men. Quinn will play Jane’s boss, Lt. Kenny Rowe, the squad commander. Quinn, repped by Framework and Paradigm, co-stars opposite Liam Neeson in Unknown. Peter Berg is executive producing the UMS-produced pilot and directing from a script by Alexandra Cunningham.

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Maria Bello To Star In NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’

Nellie Andreeva

NBC has found its Prime Suspect. Maria Bello is in final negotiations to play the iconic role originated by Helen Mirren in NBC’s remake of the hit British series.

Prime Suspect, from UMS and ITV Studio, centers on an iconoclastic female detective (Bello) who has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct that is dominated by men. The pilot was originally picked up last season but was pushed after difficulties casting the lead. (Back then, Bello was a top choice for NBC brass too.) The adaptation was given a revamp this development season with a new producing team, Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey of Film 44, and new writer, Alexandra Cunningham. The three are executive producing the pilot, with Berg also set to direct. History of Violence co-star Bello, repped by CAA, manager John Carrabino and attorney Bob Myman, has a history at NBC. She spent a season on ER and did a two-episode arc on Law & Order: SVU last year.

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NBC Picks Up Period Western Drama Pilot, Gives Formal Green Light To ‘Prime Suspect’

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is saddling up for The Crossing, picking up to pilot a period Western from Peter Horton. Additionally, the network has officially greenlit its adaptation of the British classic Prime Suspect, which had been rolled over from last season.

The Crossing (formerly Reconstruction) was originally developed at FX where it was set up in 2009. The drama, written by St. Elsewhere co-creator Josh Brand, is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason, a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior — whether he likes it or not. Brand and Horton are exec producing, with … Read More »

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Film 44 Joins ‘Rockford Files’, Builds Slate

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44 is becoming a key player in NBC’s development plans for next season with 3 high-profile projects. Last week, the company took over NBC’ drama pilot Prime Suspect. Now I hear Berg and Aubrey are also coming on board NBC’ other big reboot, The Rockford Files, which is expected to film a new pilot. Additionally, Film 44 is developing a drama about political campaigners written by Dirty Sexy Money creator Craig Wright.

On Rockford Files, Film 44 will co-produce with Steve Carell’s Carousel, which was behind last season’s pilot written by House creator David Shore. Shore continues as writer/executive producer on Rockford, while Prime Suspect will now be written by Alexandra Cunningham, taking over from Hank Steinberg, who penned the adaptation of the iconic British drama this past season. I hear the writer change was made by the network, which is looking to strengthen the lead character, played in the original by Helen Mirren and make it more “out there” to be able to attract top talent. This past development season, the pilot was pushed after the lead couldn’t be cast.

All 3 Film 44 projects are set at Universal Media Studios where the company just reupped its overall deal. Berg may also direct one of the pilots if his schedule allows. He is busy on the feature side prepping Battleship. NBC is looking to film Prime Suspect in the fall for a possible midseason consideration.

WME-repped Film 44, along with Imagine TV and UMS, is behind the … Read More »

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TCA: Early Launch For 2 NBC Series; NBC Brass Talk ‘Office’, Robert Greenblatt, Piers Morgan

Nellie Andreeva

At the top of NBC’s executive session, NBC Uni TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin announced that a couple of series will premiere early behind the final episodes of America’s Got Talent. The second season of Parenthood will launch on Sept. 14, after the second-to-last episode of Talent. New Friday drama Outlaw will get a sneak preview after the Wednesday finale of Talent.

Additionally, primetime entertainment president Angela Bromstad said the network has extended its production deal with Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44, which will now take over the NBC pilot for Prime Suspect, which the network plans to shoot off-cycle. Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) is now writing the script for the adaptation of the iconic British series, which will be a 2-hour pilot. (Hank Steinberg was originally tapped as writer last development season) NBC also announced a development deal with Gladiator producers Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes.

Another piece of news, Rob Lowe will now be a regular on Parks & Recreation. And 30 Rock will do a live episode on Oct. 14, going back to the SNL roots of creator/star Tina Fey and frequents SNL host Alec Baldwin.

Gaspin, whose last TCA appearance came in the midst of the Conan O’Brien-Jay Leno debacle in January, opened the NBC executive session by saying: “I’m happy to be at TCA under different circumstances than last time. I’d like to thank ABC for creating the headlines this time.”

Asked whether he or NBC Uni … Read More »

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