Based on the cast alone, one of my most anticipated pilots of the fall is "Family and Friends," the "Gavin and Stacey" remake starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel dealing with the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Now it's even more promising, as Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") has been added to the cast as the mother of Jason Ritter's character.
"Mad Men" alum Jared Harris has joined Paul W.S. Anderson's (Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator) Pompei, starring "Game of Thrones" Kit Harington. I guess this is meant to be the volcano version of The Titanic? Harris will play the father of the female true love.
Over in pilot land, "Sex and the City's" Kristin Davis is the latest big-name to be added to CBS's Bad Teacher, the adaptation of the Cameron Diaz movie. Ari Graynor grabbed the lead, while Davis will play what was essentially the Lucy Punch role in the film: A history teacher, choir director, faculty president and Meredith's nemesis. It's very easy to dismiss the pilot based on the film -- which was something of a one-trick flick -- but Hilary Winston from "Happy Endings" is running the show, and she may actually pull it off successfully. Davis joins a cast that already includes Sara Gilbert, David Alan Grier, and Ryan Hansen.
Perhaps ABC is trying to capitalize on that nostalgia the Buzzfeed demo loves so much, as Alan Thicke has been added to the cast of "Bad Management" as the father of David Spade's character. "Bad Management" centers on "Eve (Sharon Horgan), a slightly self-centered female boss at a high-end luxury goods department store who finds her ways challenged when the boss' (Thicke) son, Tobias Jr (David Spade), comes to town and makes youth and sex the new company focus. Thicke's Tobias Sr. is a tough old buzzard who hates failure, likes lunches, and dotes on his son."
Over on NBC, James Spader has been cast in the drama pilot, The Black List, which "centers on Red (Spader), the world's most wanted criminal who mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection.
The promising ABC pilot, Pulling, based on the British series, is replacing Mandy Moore with Kristen Schaal, which seems like an odd exchange, but the comedy pilot has apparently taken a slightly different direction which I guess calls for a goofier character. The pilot revolves around "three dysfunctional women in their 30s -- Donna (June Diane Raphael), Karen ("Saturday Night Live's" Jenny Slate) and Louise (Schaal) -- living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point."