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Pilot Watch: Power Ranking 9 High-Profile Casting Choices

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2013 |

Welcome to another edition of Pilot Watch, where we briefly run down the latest casting announcements. “Briefly,” because, despite the considerable talent involved, many of the series will never see the light of day (pilots are picked up around 40 percent of the time). If you want to know more about the projects, click on the links.


1. Charlie Cox — Cox, late of “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey” and the phenomenal Stardust, joins the CBS family drama, “The Ordained,” which revolves around Tom (Cox), the son of a Kennedy-esque family who leaves the priesthood and becomes a lawyer to prevent his politician sister from being assassinated.


2. Kim Dickens — Dickens, who was fantastic in the mostly dull Treme, is joining Jason Lee in CBS’s “Second Sight,” the gothic psychological thriller that “revolves around Ross Tanner (Lee), a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations reflective of his subconscious. He discovers that catching the killer depends as much on insight as eyesight.” Dickens will play a detective with an “offbeat” sense of humor.


3. Steve Zahn — Another “Treme” alum will play one of the leads in Kyle Killen’s (“Awake”) “Influence,” a “provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers — a bipolar genius in human psychology and a slick ex-con — who head a unique agency designed to solve their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation. “


4. Ryan Hanson — The “Party Down” and “Veronica Mars” alum is headed to Bad Teacher, based on the Cameron Diaz movie. Ari Graynor has already landed the Diaz part, and Hanson will come aboard as the P.E. teacher (who I believe was Jason Segel in the movie).


5. Tom Ellis — Ellis (“The Fades”) had been strongly rumored to go to “Downton Abbey” as Mary’s new love interest, but it turns out, he’s headed to ABC’s “Gothica,” where he will play Frankenstein in a a modern-day Gothic soap that weaves together the mythologies of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray.

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6. Joey McIntrye — McIntyre — yes, the New Kid on the Block — has joined “The McCarthys,” a CBS single-camera sitcom directed by Fred Savage and executive produced by Will Gluck (Easy A). “The McCarthys” revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son (“The Office’s” Jake Lacy) whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. McIntyre will play Gerard McCarthy, the one short guy in the family who is mad about it. ” Jacki Weaver will play the mom.


7. Mira Sorvino — Where the hell has Sorvino been? She’ll play the wife to Jim Gaffigan’s husband, in a sitcom about a family with five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Sorvino’s Jeannie is “a super-wife and super-mom. The mother of five kids, she has a sixth child in the house: her husband Jim.” The show comes from Gaffigan, and while I’d like to have hopes for it because I like him, that sounds a stereotypically dumb sitcom.

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8. Daniel Stern — Stern (Home Alone, “Wonder Years”) joins Girlfriend in a Coma, based on the Douglas Coupland novel and starring Christina Ricci as the title character, who wakes up after 17 years in a coma to discover she has a daughter from a pregnancy of which she was unaware. Stern will play her father.


9. Tim Meadows — The “SNL” vet joins “The Gabriels,” which comes from Justin Hurwitz (“The League”) and Andre Gurland, follows an introverted, neurotic Wisconsin family that lives in a community of over-sharers. Rob Riggle is the dad in the family, and Meadows will play “a straight-laced man with a “churchy smile” who is the Principal of the local middle school.”

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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.