Pilot Roundup: 'Star Trek''s Karl Urban and JJ Abrams reunite, Kate Walsh eyes 'Bad' role
A quick rundown of today's major pilot castings...
- Karl Urban is reuniting with his "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams for "Human," the formerly-untitled Fox sci-fi pilot set in a near-future Los Angeles where cops are paired with android partners. Urban has been set to play John Kennex, a respected cop who has put a clamp on his emotions after being involved in an ill-fated mission that saw nine of his fellow officers lose their lives and left him grievously injured. Executive-produced by Abrams and written by former "Fringe" showrunner J.H. Wyman, the pilot will see Urban joining previously-cast thesps Michael Ealy, Lili Taylor, Minka Kelly, Mackenzie Crook and Michael Irby. [Hollywood Reporter]
- NBC has tapped James Spader to star in their psychological drama pilot "The Blacklist," which centers on Raymond "Red" Reddington, the "world's most wanted criminal" who inexplicably turns himself into the FBI and offers to give up the identities of every person he's ever had criminal dealings with - the only caveat being that he'll only work with newbie agent Liz Keen (the previously-cast Megan Boone). Spader will play the criminal mastermind, a former Army intelligence officer who went AWOL and subsequently became a sought-after "facilitator" brokering deals for criminals. The pilot will be written by Jon Bokenkamp ("Perfect Stranger"), who will executive-produce alongside John Fox, John Davis and "Alias"'s John Eisendrath. Eisendrath will serve as the showrunner for the prospective series. [Hollywood Reporter]
- "Private Practice" star Kate Walsh is in talks with NBC for the lead role in the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay comedy pilot "Bad Judge," which centers on a "hard-living, sexually unapologetic" woman (the character Walsh would play) whose wild personal life directly conflicts with her career as a Criminal Court judge. Writer Chad Kultgen ("The Incredible Burt Wonderstone") penned the script from an idea brought to Ferrell and McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions by actress Anne Heche, who is on board to executive-produce. The pilot order appears to be contingent on whether Walsh, who just completed a six-season run on ABC's "Private Practice," signs on the dotted line or not. [Deadline]
- Tom Berenger has joined Fox's "Gang Related," a drama pilot centering on a gang member named Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez) who is recruited to infiltrate the ranks of the San Francisco Police Department. Berenger will play police chief Sam Chapel, a "dynamic" officer who oversees the Gang Task Force. He joins the previously-cast Rodriguez, RZA, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang and Inbar Levi in the pilot, which was written by Chris Morgan ("Fast and Furious") and is set to be directed by Allen Hughes ("Broken City," "Book of Eli"). [Deadline]
- Alfred Molina has been cast opposite Krysten Ritter ("Don't Trust the B--") in the NBC comedy pilot "Assistance," which centers on executive assistant Nora's (Ritter) conflicting loyalties to her fiance Jeremy (Peter Cambor) and male colleague/"work husband" Seth (Zach Cregger), all while trying to keep her demanding boss Daniel happy. Molina is set to play the latter role, described as a successful and very intense film producer with a "large presence." The pilot was written by "Bachelorette" writer/director Leslye Headland. [Deadline]
- "Arrow" villain Kelly Hu has joined the CW's "The 100," a sci-fi pilot set in a post-apocalyptic future in which a hundred juvenile delinquents are sent down to the Earth's surface to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing it. Hu will play the role of Callie "Cece" Cartwig, a Chief Communications Officer on the space station that houses the only remaining human survivors of the nuclear holocaust. Hu joins the previously-cast Paige Turco in the Jason Rothenberg-penned pilot, which is based on an upcoming series of books by Kass Morgan. [Zap2it]
Thoughts on any of the above? Sound off in the comments.