The Client List alum Brian Hallisay has been cast in the upcoming fourth season of ABC drama Revenge. He is set for a heavily recurring role with an option to become a regular in the second part of the season. Hallisay will play Ben, a local cop and a new friend of Jack (Nick Wechsler) who is fun-loving and easygoing and drawn to Jack’s world and especially to the people in it. Word is that Ben is eyed as a potential new love interest for Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp). Hallisay, who recently wrapped Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, has been on ABC and ABC Studios’ radar; he has been recurring on this season of their summer drama series Mistresses. He is with Management 360, the Kohner Agency and Jeff Bernstein.
UPDATED: Heroes and Mob City alum Milo Ventimiglia and Revenge‘s Barry Sloane have been cast as leads in ABC alien drama pilot The Visitors, from Amblin TV, after fielding interest from multiple pilots. The project chronicles the race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world. Ventimiglia, repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Jeff Frankel, will play John Doe/Drew, who is covered in strange tattoos and diagrams and speaks in a strange language. He will next be seen in Grace of Monaco and the remake of Heat and also stars and executive produces the Crackle series Chosen. Sloane will play Wes, a former FBI agent now with the Special Projects Division of the Defense department who investigates military threats that are better off solved outside the public’s knowledge. The Visitors is for the same network and hails from the same studio, ABC Studios, as Revenge, where Sloane has been a regular since midway through the second season after starting the season as a recurring. Sloane, repped by Innovative, Silver Lining and UK’s BWH, received the blessing of Revenge‘s producers to do a pilot this season. The fate of his character, Aiden, is being kept under wraps.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Meet Margaux’s father! On the heels of ABC’s Revenge promoting Karine Vanasse to regular for next season, the soapy drama has tapped Olivier Martinez to play her dad. The French actor will recur as Pascal LeMarchal, Margaux LeMarchal’s (Vanasse) media magnate father. He is a cutthroat businessman and has a competitive history with Conrad (Henry Czerny), and an even more complicated one with Victoria (Madeleine Stowe). This marks the biggest U.S. TV commitment to date for the film actor Martinez. In heading to U.S. broadcast television, Martinez joins his wife, Halle Berry, who is set to star in CBS’ summer drama series Extant.
EXCLUSIVE: A French book, Alexandre Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo, was the inspiration for ABC’s Revenge. Now the soapy drama is beefing up its French connection by promoting actress Karine Vanasse to a regular for Season 4. Vanesse joined Revenge with the third season premiere in September as a recurring and has appeared in virtually every episode. She plays French heiress Margaux LeMarchal who knew the Graysons growing up and is here to start the American version of Voulez Magazine while also romancing Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler). This midseason, Revenge is moving to the Sunday 10 PM slot, which was the home of the series that introduced French Canadian actress Vanasse to American TV, ABC period drama Pan Am. A Season 4 renewal decision on Revenge is expected in May but a move now would secure Vanasse at the onset of pilot season.
ABC has firmed up its midseason scheduling plans. With Super Fun Night only getting a Back 4 order, the network will try out another new comedy series, Mixology, in the Wednesday 9:30 PM slot behind Modern Family. The high-concept series, which takes place at a bar over the course of one night and features a 10-member core cast, will premiere on February 26. ABC previously used flagship Modern Family to launch another single-camera young ensemble comedy, Happy Endings, which recently ended its run. Meanwhile, Suburgatory will return to its original Tuesday 8:30 PM slot where it was so successful in its first season, launching Season 3 on January 15 to succeed departing Back In The Game.
ABC is making changes to some previously announced midseason moves. Once Upon A Time and Revenge are still slated to return from their winter hiatuses on March 9, joined by new drama Resurrection. But Revenge will move to 10 PM, with Resurrection taking over its 9 PM slot. With its supernatural theme (Resurrection is about deceased loved ones returning to a small town), it is considered a better fit for dark-ish fairytale drama Once than the glitzy soap Revenge. On Thursday, ABC was to launch adventure reality series The Quest, from The Amazing Race creators, on January 2. The competition has now been pushed to summer, with cooking reality series The Taste and CIA drama The Assets taking over Thursday night while Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are on hiatus, returning on February 27. In another tweak, Nashville — originally slated to go on hiatus like Once, Grey’s and Scandal under ABC’s newly adopted split-season model before returning on February 26 — will now stay on, airing a total of four originals in January and February. I hear ABC brass felt that maybe they were taking too many dramas off, and Nashville‘s strong DVR following could help it through repeats. Of the freshman dramas, Betrayal will have aired its entire limited-run first season before it goes off the air, while Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will air its fall finale on Dec. 12 and will return with a few more originals in the spring. New procedurals Killer Women and Mind Games will split the Tuesday 10 PM slot previously occupied by cancelled drama Lucky 7. Here are ABC’s new mideason premiere dates, followed by descriptions of the new series:
RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Scores With Broncos-Colts Game, ‘Mentalist’ Hits Low, ‘Betrayal’ Rises
Everybody knew there would be interest in Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football (9.5/23) last night — but there really was a lot of interest it turns out. The Colts’ 39-33 victory over Manning’s favored Denver Broncos surged up 30% over the fast nationals of last week’s Cowboys-Redskins game, which is commonly one of the top draws in the NFL. In the 8:30-11 PM block, Broncos-Colts was watched by 25.87 million viewers, up 6 million from the 19.65 million who tuned in last week. In metered market households, last night’s game pulled in a 17.3/29, up 28% over last week’s metered market result and 48% over the 11.7 of last season’s Week 7 game (Pittsburgh-Cincinnati). The 8:30 PM-12:15 AM game pulled a 10.0 rating among adults 18-49, 64% better than what the No. 2 demo show — AMC’s The Walking Dead — got with its 6.1. It was also the fourth-best metered-market result in the 8 years NBC has had its primetime NFL package (No. 1 remains the 18.3 of the Cowboys-Redskins NFC East title game on December 30, 2012) and the best October primetime NFL game result since the 17.5 Minnesota-Green Bay drew on October 5, 1998. As always with live events like sports, expect an adjustment in the final numbers later today. Having said that, there’s little doubt NBC will retain its top spot among adults with a 7.8/20 rating and 21.45 million in total viewers for Sunday night. CBS was second with a 2.7/7 rating and 12.27 million viewers.
Terry Kinney Joins ‘Black Box’, Robin Weigert In ‘Trending Down’ & ‘Chicago PD’, Annabelle Stephenson Boards ‘Revenge’
Terry Kinney has been cast in ABC’s 13-episode limited series The Black Box. Written by Amy Holden Jones, The Black Box centers on Elizabeth Black (Kelly Reilly), a world-renowned neuroscientist who appears to have it all but is constantly haunted by her own struggle with mental illness. Kinney will play hospital medical director Dr. Owen Morely, Elizabeth’s former teacher and mentor. The Black Box is executive produced by Jones, Anne Thomopoulos, Bryan Singer, Oly Obst, and Ilene Chaiken, who serves as showrunner. Kinney is repped by ICM Partners and Brookside Artist Management.
Robin Weigert is going to be busy. The Deadwood alumna has been cast in a multi-episode arc in Chicago Fire spinoff NBC’s Chicago PD and in a co-starring role in the Showtime pilot Trending Down. Weigert was first introduced in Episode 23 of Chicago Fire and was brought back for Chicago PD where she will first appear in the series premiere. In Trending Down, Weigert plays Thom’s (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) co-worker at the advertising agency. Weigert, repped by Innovative and Thruline Entertainment, also can be seen as a recurring in Sons Of Anarchy.
Annabelle Stephenson has been booked as a recurring on ABC’s Revenge. She’ll play the role of Jenny, a no-nonsense beauty and spitfire who was raised in Long Island but far from Hampton’s society and a …
Karine Vanasse has been tapped for a multi-episode guest arc in the upcoming third season of ABC‘s Revenge. The Quebec-born actress will play the role of Margaux, a French businesswoman and former acquaintance of Daniel’s (Josh Bowman) who comes to town to start a magazine. She joins stars Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann, Henry Czerny and recently cast Justin Hartley. Vanasse co-starred in ABC’s Pan Am and also appeared in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. She’s repped by WME in the U.S., UBBA in France, and Agence M in Canada.
Justin Hartley has been tapped to play a major role in the upcoming third season of ABC’s Revenge. The former Smallville and Emily Owens MD star will play Patrick, the long-lost son of Victoria (Madeline Stowe), in a multi-episode arc that was a hot one to nab around town. E! first reported the news. His addition is the latest most on the ABC soapy drama, which recently opted not to return Ashley Madekwe’s character Ashley to the cast for next season. It also said goodbye to Connor Paolo, whose character Declan Porter died in the Season 2 finale. The ABC Studios series also will have a new showrunner in Sunil Nayar, after Revenge creator/executive producer/showrunner Mike Kelley departed. Hartley’s repped by Innovative Artists.
Raul Esparza is being bumped up to series regular on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. He plays Assistant DA Rafael Barba on the Wolf Films/Univeral Television drama, which returns for its 15th season beginning September 25 and stars shooting next week in New York. Said executive producer Warren Leight: “Making him a series regular is a small way of acknowledging his enormous contribution to our show.” Esparza is repped by ICM Partners and Elin Flack Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Ashley Davenport is done scheming on ABC‘s Revenge. I’ve learned that British actress Ashley Madekwe will not return to the soapy drama next season. Her option was not picked up due to what I hear were storyline reasons. Madekwe has been on Revenge since the pilot, but her character went through metamorphoses. Ashley was introduced as Victoria Grayson’s (Madeleine Stowe) event planner and a friend to Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), who brought her into the Grayson family. Driven by ambition, she fell for the diabolical Tyler (Ashton Holmes) and eventually managed to bed both Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny) and his son Daniel (Joshua Bowman). By the end of Season 1, Ashley’s storyline played out, but the producers found a way to bring her back in a new role as Conrad’s assistant and then PR for his political campaign. With Conrad winning the election in the second-season finale, that story arc also came to a natural conclusion. Madekwe is one of two regulars to depart Revenge heading into Season 3, along with Connor Paolo, whose character Declan Porter died in the season finale. Revenge also will be with a new showrunner in Season 3, with Sunil Nayar recently replacing creator Mike Kelley.
UPDATE FRIDAY PM: Madekwe tweeted about the exit of her character from the show. “My preference is that Ashley Davenport dies in a blaze of glory. Preferable whilst wearing Valentino couture….Or …