Southland alumna Regina King is set to recur on FX‘s new drama series The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and Carlton Cuse. The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called on to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. King will play Ruby Wain, the smart and accomplished manager of philandering rock star Gabriel Bolivar (Jack Kesy). Also cast as a recurring on the series is Melanie Merkosky as Jim Kent’s (Sean Astin) wife Sylvia, who is suffering from cancer. She is repped by The Characters Talent Agency in Toronto. King, repped by ICM Partners, John Carrabino and Del Shaw, also is starring in Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story.
While Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse‘s drama The Strain, based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel trilogy, formally had a pilot order at FX, its series pickup was considered a pure formality. It just came in today. From the onset, when FX landed the project in a bidding war, it hired a full writing staff, with the network committing some $500,000 to creature creation. The Strain now is heading into production on its first season, with the bulk of the scripts already completed and one major casting change. The role of Professor Abraham Setrakian, played in the pilot by John Hurt, is being recast. Filming is slated to begin this month in Toronto for a July premiere. As FX CEO John Landgraf indicated in August, the plan for the series is to run for 39-65 episodes.
Samantha Mathis has been cast in AMC‘s pilot Line Of Sight, from creator Blake Masters and director Jonathan Demme. It tells the story of Lewis Bernt (David Morrissey), a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident’s cause. Mathis, repped by Paradigm and the Schiff Co, will play Tony’s (Kai Lennox) wife. She comes off a recurring role on CBS’ breakout Under The Dome.
Canadian actress Natalie Brown (Being Human) has booked the FX pilot The Strain, directed by Guillermo del Toro. It tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team who are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Brown will play Eph’s ex-wife Kelly Goodweather fails to heed her husband’s warning about the contagion spreading in Manhattan. She replaces Lauren Lee Smith who was originally cast in the role. Brown, repped by Thruline and Amanda Rosenthal Talent, recurs on Canadian series Cracked and Bitten.
TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Signals End Of ‘Nuclear Arms Race Of Darkness’, Talks ‘The Strain’ Game Plan, FX Brand Expansion
With The Shield, FX was one of the first networks to introduce the proverbial anti-hero that has taken over cable drama in the past decade. Asked today how much darker cable dramas can go, FX CEO John Landgraf, giving a nod to David Chase for starting the trend with The Sopranos, said, “I can’t imagine a protagonist darker than (Breaking Bad‘s) Walter White. That’s the end of the road for out-darking each other — this nuclear arms race of darkness has ended.”
Landgraf confirmed what Guillermo del Toro said when FX greenlighted a pilot for The Strain — that the project will have a limited run spanning three to five seasons. The Strain series, based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel trilogy, will produce “39-65 episodes, no less, no more,” Landgraf said, adding “What if a television show could be just the length that is optimal for that story?” The Strain‘s order is technically for a pilot but has a writing staff that has completed five scripts already, and a series pickup is considered a formality. Also pretty certain — a second season renewal for freshman drama The Bridge, with Landgraf touting ist story trajectory.
Landgraf also further discussed the plans for the FX brand expansion with the upcoming launch of FXX and rebranding of FXM.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has been tapped as the co-lead opposite Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro in FX‘s high-profile drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which is being eyed for a 13-episode pickup. The high-concept thriller, directed by del Toro from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan based on their vampire novel trilogy, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Hurt, who first worked with del Toro in his 2004 feature Hellboy, will portray Professor Abraham Setrakian, a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and now runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. As the outbreak spreads, he may be the only one with answers — if anyone will listen.
Breaking Dawn‘s Mia Maestro is set to star opposite Corey Stoll in FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse. The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order, but is being eyed for a 13-episode series pickup. The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Actress-singer Maestro, repped by ICM Partners and 3 Arts, plays Dr. Nora Martinez, who works so closely with Ephraim, they finish each other’s sentences and stumble into an affair. A brilliant biochemist, Martinez cares more about people than the diseases that threaten them, but she will soon be forced to embrace a new identity as a ruthless warrior.
Young actress Xosha Roquemore has been added to the cast of Fox’s The Mindy Project as a new regular next season after doing a three-episode arc on the comedy’s current freshman season. Roquemore recently landed a major recurring role on TV Land’s new Kirstie Alley comedy series after guest starring in the pilot, but in light of the Mindy Project opportunity, the cable network let the actress out and will recast her role. Roquemore, repped by SDB Partners, Principal Entertainment and Frank Stewart, co-stars in G.B.F., which is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.