Minnie Driver is headed back to television in the ABC comedy SPEECHLESS from Scott Silveri and 20th Century Fox TV. Mason Cook will join her as the series’ young lead. The comedy centers on a family with a special-needs child that is good at dealing with the challenges it faces and excellent at creating new ones. Driver will play the mother, Maya, who is fiercely protective of her non-verbal son, JJ. Cook is set as Ray, the youngest of the family’s three boys.
This is a return to network comedies for Driver, who most recently starred in NBC’s single camera adaptation of the film ABOUT A BOY. She also starred in the miniseries The Red Tent. She is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Cook is repped by Coast To Coast Talent Group and Primary Wave Entertainment.
Stephen Fry has booked THE GREAT OUTDOORS, the multi-camera pilot from CBS starring Joel McHale and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The show centers on McHale as an adventure reporter who must adapt to the times when he becomes boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of their magazine. Fry will play Antonio, the charismatic founder of “The Great Outdoors” magazine.
Jennifer Beals has been tapped for the female lead role opposite Clive Standen in NBC’s TAKEN prequel series. She will play Christina Hart, the Special Deputy Director of National Intelligence who has taken Mills under wing. Cultured and powerful with a wealth of field experience, her current government position has her overseeing an elite team of operatives who take care of America’s national security emergencies.
Beals is repped by APA.
Beau “Casper” Smart has won the role of Billy Kotsecki in ABC’s three-hour remake of the hit 80s dance movie, DIRTY DANCING. J. Quinton Johnson meanwhile, has signed on as Marco, the lead singer and guitarist in Tito Suarez’s band and one of the stars at Kellerman’s.
Ghostbusters alum Ernie Hudson is joining Justin Kirk and Natalie Martinez in Fox’s drama pilot APB. The series explores what happens when an enigmatic tech billionaire, Gideon Reed, purchases a troubled police precinct in the wake of a loved one’s murder. Hudson is set at Sgt. Ed Conrad, a gruff, grumpy teddy bear veteran cop with the 13th precinct.
NCIS’s Michael Weatherly has signed up for CBS’s drama pilot BULL, playing the lead character inspired by Dr. Phil. The drama is based on the popular daytime talk-show host Dr. Phil’s early days as head of one of the most prolific trial consulting services of all time.
Sofia Pernas is moving to TRANSYLVANIA. The actress has been cast in a regular role opposite Laura Brent in the CW’s drama pilot, replacing previously cast Amrita Acharia. The pilot is set in 1880 and centers on Victoria (Brent), a headstrong young woman in search of her missing father who ventures fro NYC to Transylvania where she teams up with a wrongfully disgraced Scotland Yard Detective, and together they witness the births of the most famous monsters and villains in history.
Woody Allen’s untitled Amazon series has tapped Michael Rapaport, Becky Ann Baker, and Lewis Black for roles. They join previously cast Margaret Ladd, Joy Behar, Rebecca Schull, David Harbour, and Christine Ebersole.
Shondaland comedy TOAST has tapped Jerrika Hinton to co-star opposite Jono Kenyon. The comedy is a hybrid that revolves around engaged couple Max Leeds (Kenyon) and Page (Hinton), who, after their wedding rehearsal dinner, have their eclectic family and friends give toasts recallign anecdotes about the couple but doesn’t always get it right, as we watch the true story of their complicated, funny, and relatable road to marriage.
Hinton is repped by Greene & Associates and Trademark Talent.
Addison Osta Smith has booked a role opposite Justin Long in ABC’s DREAM TEAM, a single camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV. The show centers on Marty Schumacher, played by Long, a recently divorced and eternally optimistic manager of a sporting goods store and also the “damn good” head coach of a nationally ranked soccer program – the one true love in his life. Smith will play Miley, a fantastic soccer who is built like a spark plug and recruited to join Schumacher’s dream team.
Smith is repped by Don Buchwald & Associates and Morgan.
Bill Bellamy is set to join Becki Newton in Fox’s untitled Chris Chase comedy. The series follows Jay “Havoc” Hammond (Bellamy), an African-American ex-NFL lineman who recently moved in with his white wife, Christy (Newton), and her two oddball sons, as he struggles to win the most challenging game of his life: fatherhood.
Emily J | Staff Writer