EXCLUSIVE: Heroes alumna Dawn Olivieri has landed a lead opposite Don Cheadle in the Showtime comedy pilot House of Lies. The dark comedy project written by Matthew Carnahan based on the book by Martin Kihn, centers on Marty (Cheadle), a self-loathing highly successful management consultant from a top-tier firm who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want. Olivieri, repped by APA and Mosaic, will play Monica, Marty’s crazy, pill-popping ex-wife and biggest professional competition as her consulting firm is No.1 compared to Marty’s No. 2. House of Lies is one of 2 pilots greenlighted by new Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins, along with drama Homeland, which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
The CW dramedy pilot Danni Lowinski has cast its last 2 regulars, George Dzundza (Grey’s Anatomy) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Nevermind Nirvana). Meanwhile, Diego Klattenhoff (Men in Trees) has joined Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland. Danni Lowinski is named after the series’ central character: a scrappy hairdresser (Amanda Walsh) who graduates from law school but is brushed off by law firms and sets up her own practice in a shopping mall kiosk. Gersh-repped Dzundza will play Dani’s well-meaning father, a widower who has become a full-blown alcoholic since losing his construction job. Ambudkar, repped by Gersh and Lou Viola Management, will play a hard-working and straightforward guy, working at JB Computers during the day and on his novel at night.
LOS ANGELES, CA – (December 13, 2010) – Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) has signed on to star in the pilot for HOUSE OF LIES, a half-hour, dark comedy created and written by Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) from the hit tell-all book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn, which will go into production in February 2011 in Los Angeles, CA. Jessica Borsicsky (Flash Forward) will serve as executive producer, and Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins (Californication, 24) will direct. “Don Cheadle is one of the great dramatic actors of our generation,” said SHOWTIME President of Entertainment David Nevins. “He also happens to be an extremely funny man. HOUSE OF LIES is the perfect show to take advantage of both sides of him. Honestly, I would have been happy just to get his autograph.”
HOUSE OF LIES is a subversive, scathing look at a self-loathing management consultant from a top-tier firm. Cheadle will star as Marty, a highly successful, cutthroat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want.
EXCLUSIVE: It could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. Matthew Carnahan’s half-hour script House of Lies, set in the world of corporate management consulting, was put in development under previous Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt and was turned in just as the pay cable network was undergoing a regime change in the summer. But new Showtime programming chief David Nevins read it shortly after he started and got behind it right away, putting the project on the fact track and attaching Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins to direct it. Now I hear Nevins is eying it as his potential second pilot order following the pickup of drama Homeland starring Claire Danes. The green light is contingent on locking in the lead, which may not be far off. I hear Don Cheadle is in talks to star in the project, which is described as a sophisticated dark comedy about Marty, a thirtysomething top management consultant who is cutthroat and not afraid to play dirty. Dirt creator Carnahan is executive producing House of Lies with Jessika Borsiczky (FlashForward). Production on Homeland, which just cast Mandy Patinkin opposite Danes, starts on January 10 in Charlotte N.C.
Showtime had been courting Claire Danes for the female lead in its drama pilot Homeland. Now the Emmy winner has closed a deal to star in the pilot from 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, her first series project since the show that helped launch her career, ABC’s My So-Called Life. It marks the first pilot order from David Nevins since he took over as president of entertainment for Showtime last August. In August, Danes won an Emmy for starring in the title role of the HBO biopic Temple Grandin. Loosely based on Gideon Raff’s Israeli series Prisoners of War, Showtime’s Homeland centers on an American soldier taken prisoner during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Danes will play Carrie Anderson, a driven CIA officer battling her own psychological demons. Gordon, Gansa and Raff wrote the script for the Fox 21-produced pilot, which will be directed by Michael Cuesta.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmy winner Claire Danes is in talks for the female lead in Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland. The psychological thriller, from former 24 executive producer/showrunner Howard Gordon, would mark Danes’ first series gig since her star-making turn on ABC’s My So-Called Life 15 years ago, which earned her a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination. Michael Cuesta (Dexter) is directing Homeland, which is produced by Fox 21. Based on the Israeli format Hatufim aka Prisoners of War, it tells the story of an U.S. Marine Sergeant Scott Brody who is recovered during a drone strike 10 years after going missing during the invasion of Baghdad. It centers on Carrie Anderson – the role that Danes would play – a smart, driven and iconoclastic CIA case officer who tracks down threats to homeland security coming from the Middle East.
In its first major development decision since taking the programming reins at Showtime as entertainment president, David Nevins is close to greenlighting his first pilot, a psychological thriller, from former 24 executive producer/showrunner Howard Gordon. Ben Affleck, hot off the No.1 opening of his crime caper The Town, is circling to direct. He has read the script and is very interested contingent on availability. If dates could be worked out, this would mark Affleck’s TV directorial debut.