Warner Bros has extended the options of three series regulars from its Fox comedy pilot The Assistants: Brittany Snow, Stephen Root and Catherine O’Hara. Also picked up is recurring guest star Jillian Bell, who is a regular on another show, Comedy Central’s Workaholics. The decision to extend options, which expire at the end of the week, was made with an eye toward re-piloting the project, though there has been no formal new pilot order from Fox yet. Written by Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer based on the blog and book To My Assistant by Lydia Whitlock, The Assistants is set in a busy Manhattan law firm where the assistants have vowed that if they ever get to the top, they will never treat their assistants the way they’ve been treated by their bosses. The single-camera project was an early favorite of Fox brass, who were very high on the cast, mainly the actors who have now been extended. The Assistants factored into the network’s series pickup conversation, and though it didn’t get the nod last month, Fox left it in consideration. The Assistants is produced by Lin Pictures and WBTV, with Bilsing-Graham, Kreamer, Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz executive producing.
Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows has joined NBC’s untitled Kari Lizer project. The workplace comedy centers on Mary (Sarah Paulson), a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. Meadows, repped by APA and Brillstein Entertainment, will play Mary’s partner, a psychotherapist and the reality check to Mary’s eternal optimism.
Off the Map co-star Zach Gilford has been cast as the male lead in the Fox single-camera pilot Iceland. The project centers on Mackenzie (Kerry Bishe), a twentysomething woman whose fiance recently passed away. Gilford, from WME and D/F Management, will play a guy friend of Mackenzie described as “bad influence.” For Gilford, the casting is in second position to Off the Map. He is the third cast member from the midseason drama to book a pilot this season along with Martin Henderson and Rachelle Lefevre, both cast in NBC’s Reconstruction.
Paul Blackthorne (Lipstick Jungle) has just been cast in the ABC drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller centers on Lincoln Cole (Joe Anderson) who, after his famous TV explorer father Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) goes missing way up the Amazon, reluctantly abandons his medical studies and follows in his father’s footsteps. Blackthorne, repped by SDB Partners, Seven Summits & Optimism, will play the producer of Emmet Cole’s long-running documentary series.
TJ Miller is the first actor cast in Tucker Cawley’s comedy pilot for CBS The Assistants, a young ensemble about four assistants who work for a celebrity couple. WME-repped Miller will play one of them, who at night he plays drums for a struggling band.