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Pilot Castings: ‘Lost’ Alum Henry Ian Cusick, ‘My Boys’ Co-Star Kyle Howard Get Leads

Nellie Andreeva

Lost veteran Henry Ian Cusick is returning to ABC with a lead role on the network’s untitled Shonda Rhimes pilot. Katie Lowes (CW’s Easy Money) has also joined the project, which revolves around the life and work of professional fixer Olivia Price (Kerry Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Innovative-repped Cusick will play what is considered by some the male lead on the show, a handsome, intense and brilliant litigator who works for Olivia. Cusick started off as a recurring on Lost, landing a guest starring Emmy nomination for his role as former Scottish solder Desmond Hume, before getting promoted to regular in Season 3 of the island drama. Lowes, repped by Innovative and Sweeney Management, will play an ambitious and naive young lawyer recruited by Olivia to work for her. Lowes guest starred in this season’s opener of Rhimes’ Private Practice.

My Boys co-star Kyle Howard has been tapped as the male lead in the ABC multi-camera comedy pilot Smothered, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. The project centers on young couple Zack (Howard) and Gillian who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents. Howard, who recently signed with UTA, played one of the leads in the pilot for NBC’s Perfect Couples but had to pull out after … Read More »

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Kerry Washington Set As The Lead In Shonda Rhimes’ ABC Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In her first regular TV series gig, Kerry Washington has signed on to topline Shonda Rhimes’ untitled drama pilot for ABC aka In Crisis. Actor-dancer-choreographer Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard) is set to co-star in the pilot based on the career of famous crisis management consultant Judy Smith. The pilot, from ABC Studios, revolves around the life and work of professional fixer Olivia Price (Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Olivia Price is described as something of a legend, a formidable, driven, insightful, intuitive and fearless woman. Short will play a lawyer on her team.

From the get-go, Washington had been a front-runner for the lead, which was written African American, something very unusual for a network drama. The rest of the roles on the pilot are being cast colorblind,  which is also how Rhimes cast Grey’s Anatomy. CAA-repped Washington, known for such movies as Ray and The Last King of Scotland, recently co-starred in For Colored Girls. On TV, she recurred on Boston Legal and 100 Centre Street. Short, repped by CAA and Brillstein, recurred on NBC’s Aaron Sorkin drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

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ABC Looks To Recreate Hit Magic Of 2004

Nellie Andreeva

At ABC, it feels a lot like 2004 this pilot season. Seven years ago, ABC had one of those lighting-in-a-bottle development cycle that resulted in the launch of 3 mega-hit new series in a single season – Marc Cherry’s Desperate Housewives, Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy and J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof’s Lost.

In a twist of a development fate, ABC’s drama pilot slate this year is highlighted by Cherry and Rhimes’s first creations since Housewives and Grey’s/spinoff Private Practice, respectively: Cherry has the small town drama pilot Hallelujah, and Rhimes penned an untitled drama pilot about a professional fixer. (Rhimes has exec produced other projects since, including series Off the Map and pilot Inside the Box, but this is the first script she has written.) Additionally, Lindelof was involved in the development of another ABC drama pilot this season, Once Upon a Time, from Lost executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Read More »

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