First off, one item from the series casting front.
Ashley Judd (“Kiss The Girls”, “Double Jeopardy”) has landed her first regular TV series role, by signing on to topline ABC’s action series “Missing”. The project was slated for summer, but is now looking for a launch in the fall. It revolves around Becca Winstone, a devoted single mother travelling to Europe to track down her 18-year old son who has disappeared in Italy while working on an architecture fellowship. Winstone is a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to find her son and bring him home alive. Steve Shill has come aboard to direct multiple episodes.
And here now are some pilot news from the weekend.
- Jason Isaacs (“Harry Potter”) has joined NBC’s drama pilot “REM” as the lead and a producer. It’s a thriller in the vein of “Inception”, centering on a cop (Isaacs) waking up after an accident, only to find out he lives in two different realities. Isaacs’ casting lifts the contingency on the pilot, which is run by former “24” showrunner Howard Gordon.
- Patrick Wilson (“Angels In America”, “The A-Team”) has come aboard CBS’s untitled Susannah Grant medical drama pilot as the lead. It’s about a very competitive surgeon (Wilson) whose life changes profoundly when his ex-wife dies and begins to teach him about what life is really about from the hereafter. Jonathan Demme (“The Silence Of The Lambs”) will direct.
- Toby Stephens (“Wired”, “Jane Eyre”) is set to star alongside Maria Bello in “Prime Suspect”, the NBC drama pilot about Jane Timoney (Bello) a female NYPD detective who has to stand her ground in the precinct that is dominated by men. Wilson plays Jane’s live-in boyfriend who fights his ex-wife to allow their son to stay with him and Jane.
- Guillermo Diaz (“Mercy”) has come aboard ABC’s untitled Shonda Rhimes pilot about the life and work of professional fixer Olivia Price (Kerry Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Diaz plays a paralegal in the crisis management department, who is an expert hacker.
- Adam Campbell is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot “My Life As an Experiment” for NBC. Exec produced by Jack Black, it centers on magazine immersion journalist A.J. Wilder who explores all kinds of unique experiences. Campbell plays the guy’s boss, the editor-in-chief of the magazine he works for.
- Eva Amurri (“Californication”) will star opposite Christine Lahti in CBS’ medical drama pilot “The Doctor”, written by Rina Mimoun (“Privileged”). It revolves around a mother (Lahti) who reconnects with her two adult children - son David and daughter Natasha (Amurri) by joining the family’s medical practice. David Nutter, who has a perfect track record with picked up pilots, will direct.
- Judy Marte, Tom Reed and Stark Sands have all come aboard “Rookies”, CBS’ drama pilot about six NYPD rookie cops battling the streets of Manhattan and their personal lives. Along with Leelee Sobieski, who has been previously cast, they all play four of the rookies.
- Jenna Dewan-Tatum (“Step Up”, “Melrose Place”) and Leah Renee (“Blue Mountain State”) have been added to NBC’s drama pilot “Playboy”, set at the Playboy club in Chicago in 1963. Both actresses will play bunnies in the club.
- Dave Foley (“NewsRadio”) is joining the cast of CBS’ comedy pilot “How To Be a Gentleman”. It’s a buddy comedy written by and starring David Hornsby about Allan (Hornsby) an uptight man learning to live his life with the help of his former high school classmate. Foley plays Allan’s magazine editor.
- Jenn Proske (“Vampires Suck”) has been tapped to co-star in CBS’ comedy pilot “Home Game”, which is loosely based on the experiences of former NFL star Mark Schlereth. Rob Riggle plays Mark, a retired NFL player returning home to his wife (Constance Zimmer) and daughters. Proske plays the oldest daughter.
- BJ Bales and Lindsey Kraft have joined “Tagged”, the FOX workplace comedy pilot set at a coroner’s office. Tommy Dewey and Gary Cole also star.
- Rob Corddry (“The Winner”) has signed on and Paula Marshall (“Gary Unmarried”, “Californication”) is finalizing a deal to star in FOX’ comedy pilot “Little In Common”, about three families that get united through their kids’ little league sports. At the center of it are the Wellers (Corddry, Marshall) who move to Austin, Texas, but have trouble adjusting once they find out their Latino neighbors, the Pachecos, have a different approach to raising their kids. And other neighbors, the African-American Burlesons, are taking sports very seriously.