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New TV Shows Featuring Lea Thompson, Gary Cole, Rachel Leigh Cook

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2010 |

It’s TV pilot season, which means that the slate of future cancelled television shows are currently casting, and there’s a lot of free agents out there, thanks to cancellations this season (I’d also note that, two of the biggest free agents may be Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, who will wrap up the final season of “Friday Night Lights” before the fall television season gets under way, which actually means that we may get a chance to see them starring in two simultaneously running TV series, which is a win for the planet).

Katee Sackhoff is one of those free agents, who has been bouncing around the networks since before “Battlestar Gallactica,” even left the air (you can currently see her on “24”). Sackhoff has just signed on to a crime drama series from the producers of “24,” about “a beautiful female detective who teams with a disgraced ex-cop to solve crimes and untangle the conspiracy that sent him underground.” The show is for ABC, so maybe it won’t be completely simple-minded, as recent serials, like “Flash Forward,” and “V” have been. I’m not sure network TV will ever risk another “Lost,” where the audience actually has to work a little. (Source: THR)

Meanwhile, little did I know, but “Ugly Betty” star Becki Newton is in high demand this pilot season. After fielding several offers, she finally settled on “Love Bites” for NBC. According to THR, “the romantic dramedy, from “Sex and the City” alumna Cindy Chupack, is in the vein of anthology series “Love, American Style” and chronicles several loosely connected, modern stories of love, sex, marriage and dating.” “Ugly Betty” will finish its run on ABC in the spring.

Elsewhere, Rachel Leigh Cook has been largely absent from anything notable since She’s All That, unless you watch “Psych” (and I noticed a huge drop-off in quality around the time that Cook began her arc on the series). Anyway, Cook is moving on now to a show called “NIrvana,” over on Fox. It’s about “two grown Indian-American brothers who clash with their controlling immigrant parents as they assimilate American culture, particularly one son, who lives with a white girlfriend (Cook).” I don’t see much potential in that one.

Amy Sherman-Palladino has fallen hard, it seems, since she left “Gilmore Girls” (thanks for abandoning us, Amy). She’s running a new show on The CW called “The Wyoming Project,” about “a young horse trainer who becomes the patriarch of a Wyoming ranch responsible for his three younger sisters after their parents die.” No intrigue there, but Sean Faris, who has been bouncing around bad shows for years, will take the lead in the project.

Finally, Charles Dutton and Lea Thompson (oh, Space Camp) have joined Gary Cole (huzzah!) on a TBS pilot called “Uncle Nigel.” It’s about “Nigel Wells (Gary Cole), a veteran Philadelphia homicide detective who takes on his inexperienced, incompetent nephew Ronnie as a partner.” Thompson will play Nigel’s sister, and Dutton will play an ambitious deputy of cops.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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