PILOT, TV & SERIES CASTING (8.14.15)
Kate Simses has joined the cast of DR. KEN as a series regular. The comedy stars Ken Jeong as a frustrated HMO doctor juggling medicine, marriage, and parenting. Simse will play Dr. Julie Mintz, a naive young resident at the HMO. She is repped by APA and Bleecker Street Entertainment.
True Blood alum Brit Morgan will join the SUPERGIRL cast as villain Livewire. She joins Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord, Jenna Dewan-Tatum as Lucy Lane, and Chris Browning as Reactron. It was announced that Lucy’s father, General Sam Lane, superhero Red Tornado, and vialliain Non will also make appearances, although the roles have not yet been cast. The series will premiere on October 26. Morgan is repped by Innovative Artists.
ARROW has added three more guest stars, with True Blood‘s Rutina Wesley, Enlisted‘s Parker Young and Elysia Rotaru joining the ever-expanding cast of the upcoming fourth season. Wesley will play Liza Warner, a member of an anti-vigilante task force, Young will play a love interest to Oliver’s sister Thea, played by Willa Holland and Rotaru will play a love interest to Oliver. Wesley is repped by Inspire Entertainment. Young is repped by Gersh.
Britney Spears has booked a guest-starring role on comedy JANE THE VIRGIN. The singer will appear as herself in the fifth episode of the upcoming second season, which premieres on October 12. Spears is repped by CAA.
The CW announced plans to develop an hourlong, American version of half-hour British comedy DATES. The network aired the British version this summer, and although it had only lackluster ratings, series creator Bryan Elsley will write the hourlong adaptation and executive produce alongside Howard Klein. Each episode of the series focuses on a first date between two people who meet through an online dating service. Elsley is repped by CAA.
Comedy Central has given a pilot order to OVERANALYZERS, a half-hour comedy from Brian Schacter with Echo Kellum attached to star. Ben and Kate alum Kellum will star as one of a group of diverse friends as they navigate the fast-moving technological and cultural changes that make life as a young-ish person such a confusing and hilarious nightmare. Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment will produce, with Schacter, Kellum, Marc Provissiero, and Brooke Pobjoy executive-producing. Schacter is repped by UTA and Odenkirk Provissiero. Kellum is repped by TalentWorks and Odenkirk Provissiero.
The Disney Channel is set to develop an animated series based on the classic The Lion King. Called THE LION GUARD, the series will launch with a short movie in November, with episodes airing in early 2016. It follows Kion’s, Simba’s second-born cub, as he and his friends try to keep the peace in the surrounding terrain.
Michael Vartan has been cast in E!’s upcoming drama pilot THE ARRANGEMENT, which is being described as a Cinderella story for modern times with a dramatic and complicated Hollywood twist. The Alias and Bates Motel alum will play Terence Hoffman, producing partner to Kyle West, the hottest actor of the moment who proposes a contractual relationship with aspiring actress Megan Morrison. Vartan is repped by UTA and Thruline Entertainment.
Alfonso Herrera has been cast as the male lead in Fox’s drama pilot URBAN COWBOY, a modern reboot of the John Travolta and Debra Winger-starring movie. He will play a version of Travolta’s character in the TV adaptation, which is written and directed by Craig Brewer. Herrera was recently seen in Netflix’s Sense8.
Annabeth Gish is set to reprise her role as FBI Agent Monica Reyes in Fox’s upcoming THE X-FILES reboot. She will appear in one episode of the miniseries, which will premiere on January 24. Gish is repped by Innovative Artists and Thruline Entertainment.
The Wire‘s Leo Fitzpatrick has been cast in a guest-starring role in season two of Fox’s GOTHAM. He will play villain Joe Pike, the leader of a notorious gang of arsonists known as the Pike Brothers. Gotham returns on September 21.
SESAME STREET is moving to HBO. The premium cable network has signed a deal with Sesame Workshop for the next five seasons of the show, which will be available in fall on all HBO platforms.
NBC has ordered two new comedy projects. The first is from the 30 Rock team of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, which received a pilot order. Created by Tracey Wigfield, it revolves around a millennial woman whose life is complicated when her New Jersey mother gets an internship at the cable network where she works. The second is from Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur. Although plot details are being kept under wraps, the project landed a straight-to-series 13-episode order off a strong pitch, centering around a strong female character wrestling with what it means to be good.
The network’s live production of THE WIZ has rounded out its cast with the additions of Ne-Yo, Common, and Elijah Kelley. Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man, Kelley will play the Scarecrow, and Common will play the non-singing role of the gatekeeper of Oz. They join Shanice Williams, Queen Latifah, and Mary J. Blige. Ne-Yo is repped by CAA, Common is repped by CAA and Freedom Road Entertainment, and Kelley is repped by MGMT. Entertainment.
NBC has landed a half-hour, single comedy set in the DC Comics universe titled POWERLESS, giving it a pilot production commitment. The show, which is described as The Office with superheroes, centers on the workers at one of the worst insurance company in America and explores the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villians. Powerless comes from A-Z creator Ben Queen and Warner Bros. TV. Queen is repped by UTA.
Showtime has greenlit two hourlong pilots. The first is an untitled, Chicago-set drama written by Dear White People producer Lena Waithe, which is being described as a coming-of-age story of a young African-American male. Common, Aaron Kaplan, and Clark Johnson will executive produce, with Johnson also directing. Waithe is repped by Paradigm and The Mission Entertainment.
The second is a dark comedy set in 1970s Los Angeles titled I’M DYING UP HERE, from Dave Flebotte and Jim Carrey. Based on the nonfiction book by William Knoedelseder, the story takes place at the famous Hollywood comedy clubs of the 1970s and the stars that were made there, including Carrey. The pilot will be directed by Jonathan Levine. Carrey is repped by WME.
The network has also announced that it will be adapting Patti Smith’s memoir JUST KIDS into a miniseries. Smith will co-write the script with Penny Dreadful creator John Logan, who will also produce via his Desert Wolf Productions shingle. The memoir examines Smith’s close relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as they both came of age in the 1960s and ’70s. Smith is repped by Primary Talent International.
Lisa Kudrow’s WEB THERAPY has been cancelled by Showtime. It has run for four seasons, with a total of 43 episodes. The series was produced by Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, and Don Roos.
Spike has greenlit HARVEST, a scripted series from Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Horizon Television. The drama has received a 10-episode straight-to-series order for a 2016 premiere. It centers on a dedicated father who is compelled to partner with his own estranged father in a black-market tissue and body parts trade. The project was originally set up at A&E.
TNT has renewed the Michael Bay-produced drama THE LAST SHIP for a third season. Based on William Brinkley’s novel, the story follows Captain Chandler, played by Eric Dane, as he charts a course to exist in a world where there are few remaining survivors. The drama will see its second season finale on September 6.
George Lopez is set to star in a semi-autobiographical comedy series, titled LOPEZ. He will also executive produce the project, which landed a 12-episode series pickup. It will be written by Silicon Valley‘s and King of the Hill‘s John Altschuler and Dave Krinksy. Lopez is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment.
THE EXES is officially canceled after four seasons, bringing the number of multi-cam comedies at the network to zero. The show followed three divorced men living in a NYC apartment owned by their divorce attorney and starred Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, and David Alan Basche. The series finale will air on September 16.