Pilots add to casts, set schedules
Eliza Dushku (“Tru Calling”) has been tapped to play Eve, the lead character on the hospital comedy/drama “Nurses” (also known as “Philadelphia General”) for Fox. Dushku replaces Katheryn Winnick, who has departed the 20th Century Fox TV pilot. Dushku first gained fame for her role on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (and later on the show’s “Angel” spinoff) and the feature “Bring It On.” She’ll next be seen in “Nobel Son.”
Also for Fox, Danielle Hoover has been added to the Fox 21 comedy “Revenge” as a nurse who recently returned from Iraq.
Meghan Markle will play Kelly Calhoun, wife of John “Preacher” Calhoun (Keith Robinson), in the 20th Century Fox TV pilot “The Apostles.”
At CBS, it didn’t take Nikki Cox long to find a new gig. Days after being dropped from “Las Vegas,” thesp has landed a role on “The Stumps of Hollywood,” the 20th Century Fox TV laffer formerly known as “Fugly.”
Also closing in on a deal to join the cast is Michael Rapaport, currently starring in Fox’s “The War at Home.” His casting is another sign that skein is unlikely to return next fall.
Also at CBS, child thesp Tony Gentile — who’s played a young Jack Black in both “Nacho Libre” and “Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny” — has also come onboard “Stumps.”
At ABC, the David E. Kelley drama “Life on Mars” has been pushed to midseason, giving the producers more time to cast the pilot’s star.
ABC execs and Kelley remain high on the project, which is an adaptation of the BBC skein about a detective who somehow travels to the past (where he works to solve his girlfriend’s present-day abduction).
Kelley and ABC hope to revisit the casting process after pilot season, when many more actors currently committed to other projects will be available.
“After a thorough search, we still haven’t been able to find the right actor for this role,” Kelley said. ” ‘Life on Mars’ is a project whose success relies heavily on the strength of its lead actors, and rather than compromise we prefer to keep looking and shoot for midseason.”
Also at ABC, Nia Long (“Boston Legal”) will play Katie in Warner Bros. TV’s untitled Jon Feldman project. Her other credits include “Third Watch” and the movie “Are We There Yet?”