Mark Valley is reuniting with David E. Kelley. The former Boston Legal regular, who most recently starred on Fox’s action drama Human Target before it got the ax last season, has landed a series-regular role in Kelley’s Harry’s Law on NBC. The deal has just closed, and he’s scheduled to begin the new gig on the Warner Bros TV legal dramedy tomorrow; the Season 2 premiere is set for Sept. 21. He will play one of two new attorneys (joining fellow new castmember Karen Olivo) at the law firm run by Harriett “Harry” Korn (Kathy Bates). Christopher McDonald also recently joined the show as a regular; Alfred Molina and Jean Smart have signed on for early-season arcs. Valley, who happens to be a West Point grad and Gulf War veteran, recently wrapped Nu Image’s Medallion alongside Nicolas Cage. He’s repped by WME and manager Scott Melrose.
Juliette Lewis has signed on to star in NBC’s midseason series The Firm, which stars Josh Lucas in the legal drama based on the film adaptation of the John Grisham novel that had Tom Cruise in the lead role of young lawyer Mitch McDeere. Lewis will play Tammy, the sassy secretary to Lucas’ McDeere that was played by Holly Hunter in the movie (she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for that role). The casting follows the news that Callum Keith Rennie has joined the series playing Mitch’s brother Ray, who does investigative work for Mitch. The series picks up 10 years after McDeere brought down the prestigious law firm that operated as a front for the Chicago mob. After a difficult decade, he and his family emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future — only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere. The Firm is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television Networks and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter, John Morayniss, Michael Rosenberg and Noreen Halpern. David Straiton will direct the pilot, which begins production in August in Toronto.
EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has cast Jennifer Finnigan as the female lead in its pilot Wild Card, lifting the contingency on the project. The Fox TV Studios-produced project is about people behaving badly at night in Las Vegas and two very different lawyers, Will Garratt (Ben Lawson) and Eliza Evans (Finnigan), who solve their problems before morning. Finnigan co-starred on ABC’s sitcom Better With You last season. Edi Gathegi already had been cast as the duo’s resourceful investigator. Stephen Godchaux wrote the pilot and is executive producing with Cary Brokaw. With the contingency lifted, Wild Card joins the other USA pilots Over/Under, which has not yet been shot, and Common Law and Eden, which have been shot.
James Spader is working on a deal to return to NBC’s The Office this season — but he might have loftier ambitions than Michael Scott’s desk. According to Entertainment Weekly, Spader is in talks to return as Robert California, who appeared last season interviewing for Scott’s office-manager job (thanks to Steve Carell’s pending departure from the series). But the twist is that Robert might actually be in the running for Dunder Mifflin CEO, currently played by Kathy Bates, whose Harry’s Law was renewed for next season. More on all of this from our pals at TVLine.
Jason Patric has been tapped as the male lead in the FX drama pilot Powers. Based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, the project, written by Charles H. Eglee and to be directed by Michael Dinner, is a police procedural set in a world where superpowers are relatively common. It centers on two detectives, Christian Walker (Patric) and Deena Pilgrim (Lucy Punch), in a Homicide department that deals with cases involving “powers” (people with superpowers). Eglee, Dinner, David Engel and Bendis are executive producing for Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods. Filming is slated for mid-summer in Chicago. If Powers goes to series, it will mark Patric’s first regular series gig. Last year, he co-starred in the HBO comedy pilot Tilda. In features, Patric, repped by ICM and Untitled, was most recently seen in The Losers.
Lost alum Terry O’Quinn is returning to Hawaii, where the ABC mystery drama was shot. O’Quinn, who starred in the ABC drama pilot Hallelujah this past season, has been tapped for a major recurring role on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, bringing the number of Lost alums on the show to two, including co-star Daniel Dae Kim. More from our sister site TVLine.com, which has the story.
EXCLUSIVE: Lucy Punch has been tapped as the female lead in the FX drama pilot Powers. Based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, the project, written by Charles H. Eglee and to be directed by Michael Dinner, is a police procedural set in a world where superpowers are relatively common. It centers on two detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim (Punch), in a Homicide department that deals with cases involving “powers” (people with superpowers).
Eglee, Dinner, David Engel and Brian Bendis are executive producing for Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods. Filming is slated for mid-summer in Chicago. This marks a return to series television for the British-born Punch, whose first major U.S. role was on the CBS comedy The Class. She has been busy in features lately, appearing in Dinner for Schmucks and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. Punch, repped by WME, the Schiff Co. and U.K’s United Agents, will next be seen in Sony’s comedy Bad Teacher, which opens this weekend.
EXCLUSIVE: Tony nominee Elizabeth Rodriguez has joined the cast of NBC’s new drama series Prime Suspect. The series stars Maria Bello as Jane Timoney, a female detective working a tough, male-dominated precinct in New York City. Rodriguez will play another detective on the force. Prime Suspect, adapted from the hit British series by Alexandra Cunningham, is slated to air in the Thursday 10 PM slot this fall. Rodriguez, whose recent Broadway debut in The Motherf**ker With the Hat earned her a Tony nomination, is repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and Opus Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Cheech Marin has been tapped to co-star opposite Rob Schneider in the actor’s untitled CBS comedy, which recently received an order for another pilot and several backup scripts as it remains in strong midseason consideration. The multi-camera comedy, which Schneider co-wrote with Lew Morton based on the actor’s real-life experience, stars Schneider as Rob, a confirmed bachelor who has just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. The retooling of the CBS Studios/Tannenbaum Co. project includes recasting three family members, Rob’s wife and her parents. Marin will play Rob’s father-in-law Fernando, a role played in the original pilot by Ugly Betty alum Tony Plana. In addition to Schneider, returning from the first pilot are Eugenio Derbez as the wife’s uncle and Lupe Ontiveros as her grandmother. This past development season, Marin co-starred in another family comedy pilot, Fox’s Outnumbered. Marin, managed by Anonymous Content, next reprises the voice of Ramone in Cars 2.
HBO and BBC have given the green light to Parade’s End, a five-part miniseries set during World War I, written by Oscar winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love) and starring British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall. The mini will be directed by Susanna White, Emmy nominee for her work on another HBO mini set during a war, Generation Kill. Parade’s End is based on the series of four books by British novelist Ford Madox Ford, which were published between 1924-28. Set against the backdrop of World War I, it tells the story of a complex and destructive love triangle among a conservative English aristocrat (Cumberbatch), his beautiful but cruel socialite wife (Hall), and a vibrant young suffragette. The mini, executive produced by Michele Buck and Damien Timmer, is slated to begin production in the fall. Selwyn Roberts and David Parfit will serve as producers. Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock, has several movies in the pipeline: The Whistleblower, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, War Horse and The Hobbit. Hall next stars in another WWI project, horror thriller feature The Awakening. She is currently filming Stephen Frears’ Lay the Favorite.
EXCLUSIVE: Just two weeks after ABC canceled cult favorite V, the show’s standout Morena Baccarin has joined another drama series, Showtime’s Homeland. The upcoming thriller, from 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, centers on Marine Sergeant Scott Brody (Damian Lewis), who returns home eight years after going missing in Iraq, and Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a driven CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. Baccarin will play Jessica Brody, Scott’s smart, strong wife. She replaces Laura Fraser, who played the role in the pilot. The series, which also co-stars Mandy Patinkin, is slated to debut in the fall. Firefly and Stargate alumna Baccarin played The Visitors’ diabolical queen Anna on V, which ran for two seasons, and recently did a guest stint on CBS’ The Mentalist. She is with UTA and Seven Summits.
Last season, USA Network’s flagship series Royal Pains introduced Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan R. Lawson’s (Paulo Costanzo) dad Eddie Lawson, played by Henry Winkler. Now the upcoming third season will go down another generation, with veteran Ed Asner tapped for a two-episode arc as Ted Roth, Hank and Evan’s grandfather and Eddie’s dad. Asner, repped by Greene & Associates and manager Perry Zimel, recently starred on CMT’s first sitcom Working Class. He is now touring the country with his one-man show FDR and will next be seen in the HBO movie Too Big to Fail.
Meagan Good has joined Showtime’s dark comedy Californication for a major recurring role. Good, who will appear in nine of the 12 episodes of Californication‘s upcoming fifth season, will play Kali, an extremely hot up-and-coming hip-hop artist. Good, who recently did an arc on BET’s The Game, has three movies coming out in the next month: Jumping the Broom, Video Girl, which she also produced, and 35 and Ticking. She is with Gersh and Untitled.
Cynthia McWilliams, who is recurring on Fox’s The Chicago Code, has landed a lead role on CBS’ untitled sports radio show pilot. The multicamera comedy, from veteran writer-producers Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, is inspired by ESPN personality Colin Cowherd’s outspoken sports talk show. It centers on Nick (Damon Wayans), an egotistical sports-radio host with a quick wit and cocky likability. McWilliams will play his wife, the mother of two kids from a previous marriage and stepmom to Nick’s son from his previous marriage. Formerly the owner of her own company, with an MBA, Megan has given up her career to be at home with the children — and it’s starting to get to her.
Casting director Amy Britt, who along with partner Anya Colloff cast one of Showtime’s signature series, Weeds, has been tapped as the pay cable network’s new head of casting. Britt, who has been named SVP Talent and Casting, succeeds Showtime’s longtime head of casting Beth Klein, who is leaving at the end of this week. Based in Los Angeles, Britt will oversee casting for Showtime’s's original series, reporting to entertainment president David Nevins. “I’ve known and admired Amy for many years now,” Nevins said. “She has impeccable casting taste, a keen eye and a great sense of humor.”
Britt, who formed CFB Casting with Colloff in 1998, has cast such series as Monk, Party Down, Childrens’ Hospital and Hung. Her feature credits include Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; An American Crime; Baadasssss!; Sundance standout The Chumscrubber; as well as the upcoming Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel. Britt and Colloff have been frequent collaborators with Joss Whedon, casting his series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse and movies Serenity and the upcoming The Cabin In The Woods. Colloff will continue to run CFB Casting.
TV casting director Vicki Rosenberg Suchin passed away in her sleep of natural causes on Tuesday, March 8 in her Tarzana home. She was 59. Suchin was a casting director who, over 25 years, cast hundreds of pilots, series and telepics with a list that includes Taxi, Who’s the Boss, Married…With Children and Judging Amy. She began her casting career working with Linda Otto and Joan Barnett in 1976 before moving on to NBC Network Casting. She then worked for Paramount Television Casting and ultimately landed at Columbia TriStar Television as EVP of Casting. She was the wife of personal manager Milt Suchin, who survives her along with her son Zachary Suchin, an Internet entrepreneur. She leaves behind two brothers, Imagine Entertainment president Michael Rosenberg and Robert Rosenberg. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations to be made to Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles.
Jonah Lotan (Generation Kill) has landed the male lead in ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, writer Jack Orman and director Thomas Schlamme, is a sexy soap set against the Jet Age that revolves around pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airlines in the 1960s. Lotan, repped by Gersh and Luber Roklin, will play the charismatic and confident Dean, who has just been made captain of the amazing new Pan Am clipper the Majestic.
Brooke D’Orsay has landed the female lead in the ABC multi-camera comedy pilot Smothered, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. The Warner Bros. TV-produced project centers on young couple Zack (Kyle Howard) and Gillian (D’Orsay), who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents. D’Orsay, repped by the Kohner Agency, is recurring on USA’s Royal Pains as the girlfriend of Evan (Paulo Costanzo).
Gabriel Mann has joined ABC’s drama pilot Revenge. Written by Mike Kelley and to be directed by Phillip Noyce, it is a contemporary re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo from a female perspective and centers on Emily Thorn (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people …
The Tudors alumna Natalie Dormer is set as the female lead opposite Chris Egan in ABC’s drama pilot Poe. The project, from Warner Bros. TV and Lin Pictures, is a crime procedural following Edgar Allan Poe (Egan), the world’s very first detective, as he uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston. Dormer, repped by ICM and U.K.’s United Agents, will play Celeste, a beautiful spitfire, with a firm moral center – the logical yin to Poe’s wildly theoretical yang. She owns the newspaper for which Poe writes, having inherited it from her fiancé who died in mysterious circumstances.
Judith Light has been tapped for a regular role in ABC’s half-hour pilot Other People’s Kids. The multicamera comedy, written by Hunter Covington and directed by Michael Fresco, centers on Adam (Jesse Bradford), a 32-year-old guy with no responsibilities who suddenly finds himself with an insta-family when he falls in love with an older woman, Michelle (Bonnie Sommerville) who has two kids, an ex-husband, and ex-in-laws. Light, repped by Gersh and TAO Management, will play Michelle’s ex-mother-in-law, an eccentric older woman living with her lover who likes to keep all 10 fingers deep in family matters.
Arrested Development alum Jeffrey Tambor is set to co-star in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Bent. The project, from writer/exec producer Tad Quill, is a romantic comedy about recently divorced Type-A single mother Alex (Amanda Peet), who tries hard not to fall for sexy surfer-dude contractor Pete (David Walton), who she’s hired to re-do her kitchen. Tambor will play Pete’s dad, a former actor who lives with Pete and needs to be driven everywhere. A performer who’d like to get back in the game, he plays piano in the Nordstrom lobby and still chases after the ladies. Tambor, repped by Gersh and the Burstein Co., is coming out in Win Win, The Hangover 2 and Paul.
Ben Koldyke has landed the second lead opposite Amaury Nolasco in ABC’s comedy pilot Work It. The multicamera project, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Koldyke) and Angel (Nolasco), who realize that it is a woman’s world and decide that in order to find work again and succeed they must dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Also cast in the pilot is Kristin Eggers.
Rick Gomez (Justified) and Richard T. Jones (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) have joined Peter Tolan’s comedy pilot for Fox Council of Dads. The pilot, which is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, tells the story of Michael, who just before he dies enlists five friends from all aspects of his life to become a …