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Casting Couch: Pilot Roundup

Friday brings yet another busy week casting the latest crop of pilots in this, the most baffling development season to date.

Among the casting moves announced recently, here is your breakdown, network by network, of who's landed where and in what capacity.

NBC: Aussie actor Christopher Egan, last seen as horny teen Beckett in FX's pilot Pretty Handsome (starring Joseph Fiennes, Carrie-Anne Moss, Blythe Danner, and Robert Wagner), has been cast as the lead in drama pilot Kings, loosely adapted from the David and Goliath story. He'll play a soldier who after becoming a media darling, is conscripted into the royal court after he saves the king's wastrel son. (Yes, it's set in modern times in a war-torn world somewhat like our own featuring imaginary countries and conflicts.)

FOX: Making me even more less likely to support this series, Sara Rue has been cast in the incredibly misguided US remake of cult television series Spaced, where she'll play Apryl (that's the Daisy role for fans of the Simon Pegg-Jessica Stevenson brilliant original), one-half of a pair of stranger who pose as a happy couple in order to snag some prime real estate. Something tells me that this version will lack the wit, satire, and emotion of the original. I've read the script, so that might be why...

Bert Belasco, who starred in last year's comedy pilot Dash4Cash, will star opposite Bernie Mac in comedy series Starting Under.

On the directorial front: Jason Bateman will direct Niecy Nash in the comedy pilot The Inn, written by Arrested Development's Abraham Higginbotham.

CW: Justin Hartley, who has made a virtual career out of appearing in pilots of late (and, yes, Smallville) has been cast in drama pilot Austin Golden Hour, about a team of young ER surgeons and EMTs who struggle to pull through that critical one hour after a trauma. He's previously appeared in pilots for Aquaman (a.k.a. Mercy Reef) and Spellbound.

Also at the CW, drama pilot How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls has snagged a bunch of cast members (Michael Cassidy and Marsha Mason were already locked): Joanna Garcia (Welcome to the Captain's Hope and Cheyenne from Reba) will play the lead, a Yale graduate who--after getting fired from her tabloid magazine internship--accepts a gig as a tutor to two spoiled Palm Beach twin heiresses and returns uncomfortably close to her hometown of Fort Lauderdale. Also cast: Lucy Hale (Bionic Woman) and Ashley Newbrough (Radio Free Roscoe), who play the titular twins Sage and Rose.

CBS: Lauren Lee Smith (The L Word) will play the lead in drama pilot presentation Can Openers, a twenty-something female neurosurgeon who competes with the guys for a highly coveted residency position at a hospital.

Elisha Cuthbert (24) will play the female lead in drama pilot NY-LON, a role originated in the UK by Rashida Jones. Also cast in the transatlantic romantic drama: Caterina Scorsone (Missing) and Johnny Whitworth (CSI Miami).

And Rachel Boston (American Dreams) has been cast in Diane Ruggiero (Veronica Mars)-scripted drama pilot Mythological Ex.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Amnesia (NBC); Friday Night SmackDown! (CW; 8-10 pm); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); 'Til Death/Return of Jezebel James

9 pm: Dateline (NBC; 9-11 pm); 20/20 (ABC); Canterbury's Law

10 pm:
20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-11 pm: BBC America.

If you happen to be staying in after a long work week, why not do it in true Anglophile style with back-to-back episodes of Coupling and new sketch comedy series That Mitchell and Webb Look, from the stars of Peep Show?

10 pm: Battlestar Galactica on Sci Fi.

While Season Four might not start until next week, here's a chance to ease back into Galactica with two half-hour specials. First up, Battlestar Galactica: Revealed, which offers a look back at the first three seasons of BSG, followed by Battlestar Galactica: The Phenomenon, which features some talking heads--from Joss Whedon to Seth Green--talking about the cultural impact of BSG.


Anonymous said…
Sara Rue in Spaced? Blech. Double blech. Why couldn't they have left this brilliant little show alone?

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