A brief roundup of today's pilot deals:
- Dylan McDermott ("American Horror Story") has been cast opposite Toni Collette in CBS' thriller pilot "Hostages," about a family that gets caught in the middle of a political conspiracy involving the President. McDermott will play Duncan, an FBI agent at the center of the intrigue. The pilot was written and will be directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff ("Homeland," "Chicago Fire"), who executive-produces alongside Jerry Bruckheimer. [EW]
- J.K. Simmons ("Law & Order," "The Closer") has joined the previously-cast Parker Posey in NBC's untitled DJ Nash comedy pilot. The single-camera project centers on a young boy dealing with the aftermath of his parents' (Simmons and Posey) divorce, which, unusually, has actually brought the family closer together. Simmons will play Mel, the quirky blind father described as being like John Wayne, "if the gunslinger traded in his horse for a guide dog." Without sight since the age of 11, he stubbornly refuses to allow the condition to run his life or prevent him from teaching his children how to parallel park. Set in the 1980s and loosely based on Nash's life, the story will be told in voiceover by the son as an adult man, a la "The Wonder Years." Nash executive-produces alongside Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente. [Hollywood Reporter]
- "Vampire Diaries" recurring player Claire Holt has been added to "The Originals," the potential "Diaries" spinoff scripted by "TVD" co-creator Julie Plec that will focus on the titular "Original" family of vampires. Holt is slated to reprise her "Diaries" role of Rebekah, who together with her brothers Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) represent the last remaining Originals. The back-door pilot, which is slated to be introduced on the April 25 episode of "Diaries," will see Klaus reuniting with his villainous former protege Marcel (newcomer Charles Michael Davis) in New Orleans' French Quarter. Along with Morgan, Gillies and Davis, Holt also joins "Diaries" recurring player Phoebe Tonkin, who has signed on to reprise her role of werewolf Hayley in the potential series. [Deadline]
- KaDee Strickland ("Private Practice") joins the previously-cast Skyler Samuels ("The Nine Lives of Chloe King") in NBC's "Bloodline," a thriller centering on an independent young orphan named Bird Benson (Samuels) who discovers that she has descended from a family of ancient mercenaries who continue their war with a rival clan to this day. If she is ever to lead a normal life, she must find and defeat her tough-as-nails biological mother in a battle to the death. Strickland has been tapped to play the mother (name: Sheila Killpriest), described as a "loose cannon with an epic attachment disorder." Also starring Jonathan Banks ("Breaking Bad") as Bird's father Leo, the pilot will be directed by Peter Berg ("Battleship"), who executive-produces alongside scripter David Graziano ("Felicity," "Awake"). [Hollywood Reporter]
- Will Greenberg (FunnyorDie.com), Lauren Lapkus ("Are You There, Chelsea?") and newcomer Asif Ali have completed the main cast of NBC's multi-camera comedy pilot "Joe, Joe and Jane," from "New Girl" writers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. The duo will pen the pilot, which centers on a "conflict-avoidant" author of children's books named Joe Waxman (Greenberg) who finds himself caught in a perennial tug-of-war between two needy individuals: his wife Jane ("Army Wives"' Sally Pressman) and his co-author/best friend Joe ("666 Park Avenue"'s Dave Annable). Lapkus will play Jane's best friend Melissa, whose tendency to make bad life decisions usually results in the others feeling better about themselves, while Ali has been tapped to play Joe and Joe's agent Matt, a raunchy former frat boy who sees the writing partners as his second most important clients. [Hollywood Reporter]
Thoughts on any of the above projects? Sound off in the comments.