Pilot season heated up in a major way today, with a slew of bold-faced names taking on roles in projects including Ridley Scott's Showtime drama "The Vatican" and NBC's modern-day Hatfields & McCoys series. Below you can find a brief roundup.
- "Flashdance" star Jennifer Beals has joined the cast of the Bryan Balasco-penned ABC drama pilot "Venice," a primetime soap centering on two rival families who battle for control of the beachside burg even as a "Romeo & Juliet"-style romance blossoms. The actress has signed on to play Lisa Carver, the free-spirited matriarch of one of the feuding clans. The show will serve as a reunion between Beals and "L Word" creator Ilene Chaiken, who has also signed on to the pilot as executive producer and showrunner. [Deadline]
- In other feuding-family news, Oscar nominated-actress Virginia Madsen ("Sideways") has signed on to star in NBC's modern-day Hatfields & McCoys pilot as Eloise, vengeful matriarch of the blue-collar McCoys. Written by John Glenn ("Eagle Eye"), who will also executive-produce alongside Charlize Theron, AJ Dix, Dawn Olmstead and Beau Flynn, the Pittsburgh-set series will use a shocking murder as a jumping-off point to fan the flames of the families' long-standing rivalry. [TVLine]
- Matthew Goode ("Watchmen," "Stoker") has been tapped for a role in Showtime's "The Vatican," a drama series that will center on the political machinations and power struggles in the modern-day Catholic Church. Goode will play Bernd Koch, the pope's closest confidante whose position gives him powerful leverage in the Vatican's inner sanctum. Executive-producer Ridley Scott is on tap to direct the pilot episode from a script by Paul Attanasio ("House," "Donnie Brasco"). [Hollywood Reporter]
- "Nine Lives of Chloe King" star Skyler Samuels will play an ass-kicking female once again, as the actress has signed on for NBC's "Bloodline," a drama pilot that follows two battling warrior families in modern suburbia. Samuels joins "Breaking Bad" thesp Tom Hoberman in the pilot as Bird Benson, a strong, independent young woman who is a member of one of the rival clans. The pilot episode is set to be directed by Peter Berg ("Battleship") from a script by David Graziano ("Terra Nova," "Felicity"). [Deadline]
- "Mindy Project" recurring player Tommy Dewey has landed in Seth MacFarlane's "Dads," a Fox comedy series that centers on Eli and Warner, a pair of thriving video game entrepreneurs whose lives take a turn for the worse when their respective "nightmare" fathers unexpectedly decide to move in with them. Dewey will play Warner, the more responsible of the two younger men. MacFarlane and his "Ted" co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are on board to executive-produce the show, which has already received a six-episode commitment from the network. [TVLine]
Any of the above projects spark your interest? Let us know in the comments.