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Martin Henderson, Sarah Paulson & Lauren Ambrose Tapped As The Leads Of 3 Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Three high-profile pilots just landed their leads: Martin Henderson will headline NBC’s drama The Crossing, Sarah Paulson will star in NBC’s Kari Lizer comedy and Lauren Ambrose will topline Fox’s drama Weekends at Bellevue.

Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, The Crossing is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Henderson), a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior – whether he likes it or not. The casting is in second position to Henderson’s current series, ABC’s softly-rated midseason drama Off the Map. The Crossing’s female lead is Henderson’s Off the Map co-star Rachelle Lefevre who is also in second position to the ABC medical drama, so NBC is making a big gamble that Off the Map won’t come back for a second season.

The untitled Kari Lizer multicamera comedy, from Warner Bros. TV, is a workplace comedy about a relationship-challenged woman (Paulson) who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. The casting of Paulson lifts the contingency on the project. ICM-repped Paulson was the female lead on NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and ABC’s Cupid. Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she stars, was recently picked up by … Read More »

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Several Actors Board Broadcast Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s comedy comedy pilot has found the leads for its comedy pilot My Freakin’ Family: Ellen Woglom and Ravi Patel. Christopher Rich also has been cast in the project, which centers on two young parents, Anna (Woglom) and Raj (Patel), whose lives change after they have a baby and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives to fight for the soul of their grandchild. Rich will play Anna’s dad, an affable suburban cowboy. Harish Patel was previously cast as Raj’s dad. Ravi Patel, repped by TalentWorks and Seven Summits, played the lead in Fox’s comedy pilot Nevermind Nirvana last year.

Janet McTeer is set to co-star in the Fox drama pilot Weekends at Bellevue. Based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir, Bellevue centers on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. McTeer, nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for Tumbleweeds,  will play Diane, the head of psychiatry at Bellevue.

Zoe Lister-Jones has been cast in NBC’s untitled Whitney Cummings comedy pilot. The project, written by Cummings, centers on young couple Whitney (Cummings) and Alex (Chris D’Elia) who tackle the ups and downs of a committed relationship  torn between their friends Lily (Lister-Jones) and Neal who think … Read More »

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Pilots ‘Weekends At Bellevue’ And ‘Secret Circle’ Book Directors

Nellie Andreeva

Lost director-producer Jack Bender has signed on to direct the Fox medical drama pilot Weekends at Bellevue. The project, which Fox got in turnaround, hails from the same studio, UMS, that produces Fox’s veteran medical drama House. Based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir, Bellevue, from former ER writer-producer Lisa Zwerling and BermanBraun, centers on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. The project reunites Bender with BermanBraun. In the summer, he directed the company’s 90-minute SyFy pilot Alphas, which has been picked up to series. Bender spent the last six years as an executive producer and director on Lost, wrapping his stint by helming the series’ finale.

Liz Friedlander will make her pilot directing debut with the CW’s Secret Circle for Warner Bros. TV and Alloy Entertainment. Written by Andrew Miller and Kevin Williamson based on the book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith, Secret Circle tells the story of a young woman who moves to a new town and discovers that not only is she a witch and part of a secret coven, but she’s also the key that will unlock a centuries-old battle of good versus evil. Gersh-repped Friedlander, who started off as a music video and commercial director, has helmed multiple episodes of several CW series, including The Vampire Diaries, One Read More »

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Fox Picks Up Medical Drama Pilot ‘Weekends At Bellevue’ In Turnaround

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has handed a late pilot order to Weekends at Bellevue, a medical drama from former ER writer-producer Lisa Zwerling and BermanBraun. The project, centered on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit, was originally set up at NBC and UMS earlier this season. After the network recently passed on the script, it was taken to Fox. UMS, which produces Fox’s hit drama House, will stay on as the studio. Weekends at Bellevue is based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir about her nine-year stint as the weekend physician in charge of the psychiatric emergency room at the oldest public hospital in the United States whose name has become synonymous with insanity. Zwerling, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are executive producing.

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