Vine time for thesps

Pileggi jungle-bound, Burke growing 'Potato'

“The X-Files” veteran Mitch Pileggi will swing over to the WB, while Delta Burke has been crowned “Sweet Potato Queen” and Joely Richardson is taking on her first TV pilot.

Deals rep some of the latest casting pacts to come together this week in broadcast and cable. The details:

  • Pileggi, who portrayed assistant director Walter Skinner on “X-Files,” has joined Warner Bros. TV’s “Tarzan” pilot for the WB.

    He’s has been cast as Tarzan’s uncle, Richard Clayton, a key role in the drama pilot. Clayton, a Gotham businessman, discovers his nephew in the jungle then becomes Tarzan’s caretaker in the Big Apple.

    Pileggi will next be seen in upcoming NBC miniseries “First to Die.” Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel already has been cast as Tarzan. Eric Kripke serves as scribe-exec producer; David Nutter is director-exec producer; and Laura Ziskin and David Gerber also are exec producers.

  • Burke, best known for her role as Suzanne Sugarbaker on CBS’ “Designing Women,” has been tapped as the lead in half-hour WB pilot “Sweet Potato Queens.” Project is a multi-generational laffer from scribe-exec producer Pamela Eells (“Mad About You”) on which former NBC movies and minis topper Lindy DeKoven serves as a producer.

    Central character, to be portrayed by Burke, is based on real-life Southern belle-scribe Jill Connor Browne, the self-proclaimed “Sweet Potato Queen” whom Newsweek described as “equal parts Erin Brockovich, Erma Bombeck and Dr. Ruth.” Browne and Kyle Jennings are also attached as producers on the pilot, which is being produced by Warner Bros. TV in association with Eell’s Bon Mot Inc.

    Burke inked a talent holding deal in August with the WB, Warner Bros. TV and Tollin/Robbins Prods. after starring in their pilot “Saint Sass,” which did not get a pick-up. The “Potatoes” deal is separate from that pact.

  • Joely Richardson (“The Affair of the Necklace”) has joined the cast of FX’s drama pilot “Nip/Tuck,” which stars Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon as partners in a south Florida plastic surgery biz.

    Richardson will portray the wife of the partner played by Walsh, who experiences a crisis of conscience as the partnership reaches the elite level of the plastic surgery biz.

    The actress will be seen in the CBS Christmas telepic “Fallen Angels.” Greer Shephard and Mike Robin are exec producing, along with Ryan Murphy, who is “Nip/Tuck’s” creator-scribe-director. Warner Bros. TV is producing.

  • Doug Stanhope has been locked as co-host of Stone Stanley Entertainment/Comedy Central’s “The Man Show,” opposite Joe Rogan. The deal for the standup comedian was expected (Daily Variety, Feb. 6).

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