TV casting roundup: Lili Taylor joins JJ Abrams sci-fi, Captain Awesome gets a new job
Some highlights from today's fast-and-furious round of pilot castings...
- Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell has boarded ABC's "Betrayal," a drama pilot about an unhappily-married photographer (Hannah Ware) who has an affair with a powerful lawyer turns out to have dire consequences after she discovers he's defending a murder suspect being prosecuted by her husband. Cromwell will play James Karsten, the ruthless patriarch of an influential Chicago family. The pilot comes from David Zabel ("ER"), who will write the potential series and executive-produce alongside Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya. Henry Thomas is also on board to star and Patty Jenkins ("Monster," "The Killing") will direct. [Hollywood Reporter]
- Lili Taylor has been cast as the female lead in Fox's untitled J.H. Wyman ("Fringe") pilot, a sci-fi drama set in a near-future Los Angeles where cops are paired with android partners. Taylor will star as Maldonado, an "ambitious and determined" police captain. The actress joins the previously-cast Michael Ealy ("Think Like a Man," "Common Law") in the prospective series, which centers on the relationship between an android named Dorian (Ealy) and his human partner. Wyman wrote the pilot and will executive-produce alongside Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, while Brad Anderson ("Fringe," "The Machinist") is on board to direct. [Deadline]
- Hip-hop producer-turned-actor RZA will star in the Fox drama pilot "Gang Related" opposite Ramon Rodriguez, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang and Inbar Levi. Centered on a gang member named Ryan Lopez (Rodriguez) who is recruited to infiltrate the ranks of the San Francisco Police Department, the pilot was written by Chris Morgan ("Fast & Furious") and will be directed by Allen Hughes ("Broken City," "Book of Eli"). RZA wil star as Cassius, Ryan's partner on the Gang Task Force. [Deadline]
- Former "Chuck" star Ryan McPartlin has joined the TBS pilot "Do It Yourself," a multi-camera comedy centering on a group of outcasts working at a big-box home improvement store. McPartlin is slated to play Tyler, an "enthusiastic" aspiring actor in the paint department who views his demonstrations as performance pieces. The potential series comes from Walt Becker ("Glory Daze") and Rob Long ("Sullivan & Son"); Melora Hardin ("The Office") was previously cast as the store's manager. [TVLine]
- "Lost" alum Naveen Andrews has been tapped for ABC's "Reckless," a drama pilot about a man named David Ritter (Patrick Fugit) who heads overseas to rescue his doctor wife Sara by any means necessary after she's unjustly imprisoned following a political uprising in East Myanmar. Andrews - who also joins Eloise Mumford, Ernie Hudson, Lou Taylor Pucci and Ashton Holmes ("Revenge") in the potential series - will play Roland, a renegade hired to help save Sara. The prospective series will be written by Chris Black ("Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives"), who executive-produces alongside "Casino Royale" director Martin Campbell (onboard to helm the pilot episode) and Lucienne Papon. [TVLine]
- Samaire Armstrong ("The Mentalist") and Sam Hazeldine ("The Raven") have joined ABC's "The Returned," a drama pilot about a small town that is irrevocably transformed when the residents' deceased family members begin to return. Armstrong will play Elaine, a controlling and sarcastic woman who is thrown for a loop when her dead father shows up, while Hazeldine will play Abel, a mysterious figure from the past. The potential series was written by Aaron Zelman and will be directed by Charles McDougall; Brad Pitt is executive-producing through his Plan B shingle. [Deadline]
- Scoot McNairy ("Argo," "Kiling Them Softly") has been cast in the AMC pilot "Halt & Catch Fire," an '80s-set drama set against the backdrop of the personal computing boom. McNairy will star as Gordon Clarke, an engineer who is left frustrated after the failure of a business venture. McNairy is the third and final member of the storyline's main trio to be cast; Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") and Cameron Howe ("Smashed") previously came on board. The prospective series comes from writers Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers and executive-producers Mark Johnson ("Breaking Bad") and Melissa Bernstein. Juan Jose Campanella ("House") is set to direct the pilot. [Hollywood Reporter]
- Megan Follows, a.k.a. "Anne of Green Gables," has joined the CW pilot "Reign," a drama centering on 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) as she arrives in France to marry Prince Francis (Toby Regbo), who is unsure of the arranged marriage (not to mention the idea of inheriting his father's throne) and acts out by having an affair. Follows is set to play Queen Catherine, Queen Consort of France, who will do whatever it takes to maintain her own standing, as well as that of her children, in the royal court. The pilot is set to be directed by Brad Silberling ("Land of the Lost," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events") from a script by former "Ghost Writer" scribes Stephanie Sengupta and Laurie McCarthy. [Deadline]
- Gloria Reuben ("ER," "Falling Skies"), Marsha Mason ("The Middle," "The Goodbye Girl") and Enrico Colantoni ("Person of Interest," "Flashpoint") have been set to star opposite Geena Davis in the actress's untitled TNT drama pilot created by Scott Prendergast ("Wilfred") and Amy Berg ("West of Memphis"). The prospective series is based on the true story of Mackenzie "Mack" Green (Davis), an eccentric and unconventional bounty hunter. Reuben is slated to play "tenacious" Assistant D.A. Kate Mickelson, while Mason will star as Mack's mother Lloyd and Colantoni will play an accountant hired to run the financials at Mack's bail bonds office. Executive-producer Dean Devlin will direct the pilot and serve as showrunner alongside Berg. [Deadline]
- Lenora Crichlow (from the U.K. edition of "Being Human") has been cast in ABC's untitled Cullen Bros. ("Las Vegas," "Cop Out") comedy pilot, about a recent divorcee and single mother named Terry Gannon (Maggie Lawson) who is forced to temporarily move in with her estranged father (James Caan). Crichlow is set to play Gigi, a fellow mom whose son tries out for Little League alongside Terry's son. [Deadline]
- Megan Dodds ("CSI: NY," "Detroit 1-8-7") has been cast in NBC's "I Am Victor," a drama pilot that centers on a powerful divorce attorney named Victor Port (Stamos) who has "a unique view of relationships." Dodds will play Victor's wife Helen, an accomplished businesswoman in her own right who is also a devoted mother to the couple's two children. The pilot, based on the book by Jo Nesbo, was written by Mark Goffman ("White Collar," "The Beast"). [Deadline]
Thoughts on any of the above? Sound off in the comments.