Glee alum Lea Michele is bidding farewell to Scream Queens and boarding the untitled city mayor comedy starring Brandon Micheal Hall. In the show, an idealistic rapper named Courtney who runs for office as a publicity stunt. When he actually gets elected, he surprises everyone (including himself) when he has a natural knack for the job and slowly transforms City Hall. Michele’s role is being kept under wraps.
Shondaland’s untitled legal drama has tapped Wesam Keesh for a series regular role. The show is set in the Southern District of New York Federal Court and follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high-profile and the high-stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect. Keesh is set to play Jay, a recent law school grad who’s about to begin his career as a public defender in the prestigious district court.
Keesh is repped by Joseph Le Talent Agency and Stagecoach Entertainment.
UNIT ZERO has tapped Rob Huebel to join Toni Collette. The action-dramedy follows Jackie Fink (Collette), a brilliant but unassuming CIA engineer and single mom as she leads a team of desk jockets into the field as secret agents. Overlooked in the workplace, their invisibility makes them perfect for the CIA’s most covert missions. Huebel will play computer genius, Phineas Bog, with an offbeat and unconventional manner.
Huebel is repped by UTA and Principato-Young.
Ana Ortiz, who has previously starred in Devious Maids and Ugly Betty, is joining the comedy CHARLIE FOXTROT to star opposite Jason Biggs. The half-hour is set at Fort Bragg, an Army base in North Carolina, which is like home to Angelina Torres (played by Ortiz) and her two children. When her fiance is killed in action in Iraq, her future brother-in-law, a pushover dentist, steps in to help out.
Ortiz is repped by Gersh and Geordie Frey.
The Alan Cumming starrer INSTINCT has added Lost‘s Naveen Andrews. The series is based on the upcoming James Patterson and centers on Dylan, a former CIA operative who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. Andrews has been cast as Julian, Dylan’s old friend from the CIA who rivals Dylan in brilliance and wit. Also joining the cast is Daniel Ings as Tracy, Dylan’s “all-American” husband of one year.
Neil Brown Jr. has boarded CBS’ untitled Navy SEAL drama from Ben Cavell, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Chris Chulack. The series follows the lives of the elite Navy SEALs as they train, plan, and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask. Brown has been cast as Ray, the longest-tenured member of the assault team and his most trusted friend and colleague.
Dylan McDermott has boarded LA -> VEGAS, the comedy from Lon Zimmet and directed by Steve Levitan. The ensemble workplace comedy is set on a Friday night flight from LAX to Vegas and the returning flight on Sunday. It follows a group of underdogs trying to find their place in the world who all share the same goal: to come back a winner in the casino of life. McDermott is set as the pilot, a likable narcissist who feels connecting with his passengers is just as important as flying the plane.
Whiplash actor Austin Stowell has joined thriller drama CONTROVERSY in the lead role. The series tackles the hot-button topic of college campus sexual assault and centers on Stowell as Matt Kincaid, the Junior Counsel of a prestigious Illinois university who must deal with an out-of-control scandal when a female student accuses several star football players of sexual assault. From the football coaches and booster who wield outsize influence, to a university administration under siege, the series explores the type of high-profile controversy all too familiar on today’s college campuses, as well as the corrosive, dangerous nature of institutional power.
Stowell is repped by CAA.
REVERIE has added Dennis Haysbert to the thriller pilot. The project centers on Mara, a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences. Haysbert will star opposite Sarah Shahi as a Charlie Ventana, a former police chief who now works as the inventor of Reverie and recruits Mara to help stop the dangerous consequences of this new virtual reality program.
Haysbert is repped by Gersh and GS Management.
Brett Goldstein is joining the space-travel comedy SPACE OUT from Adam Sztykiel and Bill Lawrence. The half hour is a workplace comedy that centers on a working-class genius and his struggles to fit in with an established team – all made more difficult when their job is building a rocket to Mars. Goldstein is set as Leon Ness, the brilliant eccentric and unpredictable found of Space One – a man who dreams big and never gives up.
FX has booked JD Pardo for the lead role in Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy Spinoff titled MAYANS MC. Pardo plays Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, a prospect in the Mayan MC charter on the California/Mexico border. EZ is the gifted son of a proud Latino family, whose American dream was snuffed out by cartel violence. Now, his need for vengeance drives him toward a life he never intended and can never escape. Also joining the cast is John Ortiz as Esai “Taino” Osorio, the President of Mayans MC, Santo Padre Charter. He was born in the Bronx, then sent to Oakland to live with his cousin, the found and National President of Mayans MC.
Jimmi Simpson, Josh Duhamel, and Bokeem Woodbine are teaming up for USA’s UNSOLVED. The project is based on the experiences of former LAPD Detective Greg Kading (Duhamel), the author of Murder Rap: The Untold Story of Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations, who led multiple law enforcement task forces investigating the murder. Simpson has been cast as Detective Russell Poole and Woodbine will play Officer Daryn Dupree.
Emily J | TV Editor