Burke cast at ABC and 'Now' thesp Close in Eye pilot
Veteran thesp Robert Loggia is getting ready to play a judge in CBS’ “Queens Supreme,” Gregory Harrison is headed to the WB and “Felicity’s” Scott Foley will prosecute the top job in NBC comedy pilot “A.U.S.A..”Elsewhere, Billy Burke has nabbed the lead in ABC drama pilot “E.I.S.,” while Eric Close, who toplined CBS’ short-lived drama “Now and Again,” is returning to the Eye with a pilot role in “The Untitled Jerry Bruckheimer Project” (formerly referred to as “Vanished”). In addition, CBS has given a cast-contingent pilot order to “Grown Men,” a half-hour pilot from Emmy-winning “Frasier” writer-producer Rob Greenberg. Skein is about a recently divorced dad who starts a new life with his 18-year-old son as his roommate. Over at UPN, netlet picked up “Legacy” — a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced script that seems a logical companion to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Project, from Warner Bros. TV, revolves around a young assistant D.A. who learns he’s inherited superpowers. Bruckheimer and Simon Kinberg are exec producing. On the casting front, here’s the latest:
- Loggia is in final negotiations to play Judge Thomas O’Neill in CBS drama pilot “Queens Supreme” from Regency Television and CBS Prods. Revolution Studios and Shoelace Prods. also are producing. He joins Annabella Sciorra and Oliver Platt. Loggia’s character is the top-ranking of the four jurists the show follows. Tim Robbins is directing; Kevin Fox is writing-exec producing; Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Dan Thomas and Deborah Schindler also are exec producing.
- Harrison joins Delta Burke in the WB’s “Horrid Little Girls,” a half-hour pilot from Ryan Murphy (“Popular”) and producers Tollin/Robbins and Warner Bros. TV. Skein is set in a girls’ boarding school.
- Foley stars in “A.U.S.A.” as Ben, a young lawyer just starting his career as a prosecutor in the Manhattan U.S. Attorneys Office. Project, inspired by writer-exec producer Rich Appel’s (“King of the Hill”) early career, focuses on his professional and personal misadventures as he tries to make his mark on the justice system. Pilot is from 20th Century Fox Television and NBC Studios. William Morris Agency- and Handprint-repped Foley soon will wrap up his role as lovesick Noel on “Felicity,” as that show is scheduled to end its run this season. “Scott’s that rare actor who is both charismatic and appealing and doesn’t seem to be aware how charismatic and appealing he is,” Appel told Daily Variety. “When it was clear ‘Felicity’ was not coming back, he was at the top of our list — and I’m sure I’m not alone; he was at the top of a lot of lists. We got lucky.”
- CAA-repped Burke (ABC’s “Wonderland”) stars as Shaw Taylor, who leads a team of Epidemic Intelligence Service staffers, in Touchstone Television’s drama pilot “E.I.S.” for ABC. Joining Burke is DB Woodside, who will play disease prevention specialist Addison Butler. Darren Lemke is writer-exec producer of the project; Nena Rodrigue, Nina Wass and Gene Stein also are exec producers.
- Gersh-repped Close joins Anthony LaPaglia, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Enrique Murciano in the untitled missing-persons drama Bruckheimer and Warner Bros. TV are producing for CBS. Hank Steinberg is co-exec producing and writing the Warner Bros.-produced project.
- Shea Whigham (“Tigerland”) and Paul Adelstein (“Bedazzled”) are the first to be cast in the Gary Fleder helmed pilot “R.U.S.H.” for CBS. The Studios USA project, penned by Paul Attanasio, who will executive produce with producing partner Katie Jacobs, centers on an elite squad of the LAPD. Whigham is repped by Gersh; Adelstein by Abrams Artist Agency.