Famous faces prepping for pilots

Larroquette signs on for lead in 'Heart Department'

Feature thesps Keifer Sutherland, Anthony Michael Hall and Oscar-nominee Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”) have signed on for leading roles in fall 2001 drama pilots.

In addition, TV regular John Larroquette has signed on for a lead role in “The Heart Department,” a CBS drama pilot from Columbia TriStar Television and CBS Prods.

Sutherland is signed to star as the hero in Fox Broadcasting’s “24,” the real-time drama from Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Skein, which unfolds an hour at a time, will detail the vast conspiracy surrounding a plot to kill a presidential candidate.

Sutherland’s character is a CIA agent leading an effort to stop the assassination; at the same time, he’s also dealing with the sudden disappearance of his daughter.

Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran (“La Femme Nikita”) are writers and exec producers of “24,” along with Tony Krantz, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

A year ago, Sutherland starred in Fox’s small-screen adaptation of “L.A. Confidential”; pilot was not picked up.

As for Hall, he’ll play the lead in UPN’s “Dead Zone,” which is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Hall is set to star as Johnny Smith, a man whose psychic powers could end up changing history.

Hall recently play Microsoft mogul Bill Gates in TNT’s “Pirates of Silicon Valley.”

Exec producers are Michael Piller, Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan. Skein is from Lion’s Gate Television and Paramount Network Television.

Larroquette is best known for his long-running comic role on 1980s laffer “Night Court.” He also had his own NBC sitcom, as well as a short-lived CBS laffer “Payne.”

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