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Bart gets role in CBS laffer pilot

Thesps prep for new season skeins

This article was corrected on Mar. 7, 2002.

Legit thesp Roger Bart (“The Producers”) has snagged a major role in the CBS comedy pilot from scribes Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan, while NBC has nabbed soon-to-be “Felicity” alum Greg Grunberg and a “Tenacious” Kyle Gass for the untitled Jonathan Groff project.

Other pilots casting roles Wednesday include NBC’s “Class of ’06,” “Miss Miami” and “Young Arthur, along with ABC’s “8 Simple Rules.”

Here’s the latest:

  • Bart — who won a Tony award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” — will play Paul Newman, the long-suffering assistant to the famous author at the heart of Keenan and Lloyd’s untitled Par laffer. Despite his name, Bart’s character has little in common with the famous thesp.

Keenan and Lloyd (“Frasier”) are the scribes/producers of the CBS comedy, which has a 13-episode commitment. James Burrows is directing; Bart’s repped by Gersh and Handprint Entertainment.

  • Grunberg, who has been performing double duty on “Felicity” and “Alias,” has been cast in the Groff laffer as the best friend and colleague of Jake, who’s played by Jason Bateman (Daily Variety, Feb. 28.) Groff wrote and will exec produce the male p.o.v. pilot, about a guy who quits his job as a lawyer to take up teaching. Grunberg’s character will also serve as the voice over narrator of the show.

Gass, known as the other half of Jack Black’s musical/comedy duo Tenacious D, has inked for the role of Ceissner, a fellow teacher who befriends Jake.

Trio joins ‘Miami’

  • Keith David (“The Job”), Tamara Mello (“Popular”) and Diana-Maria Riva (“Philly) have joined the cast of NBC’s “Miss Miami,” the NBC Studios/Touchstone Television-produced drama pilot from writer-exec producer Michael Duggan.

  • Bob Koherr (Comedy Central’s “Strip Mall”) has joined Fox’s new take on “The Time Tunnel,” a drama pilot which Regency Television and 20th Century Fox Television are producing, as a medic named Wix.

  • Kyle Howard (“Orange County”) and Keri Lynn Pratt (“Cruel Intentions 2”) are the first to be set for the NBC/Paramount laffer “Class of 06” (formerly the Adam Chase Project). The comedy, which concerns six college freshman pals/roommates, was penned by Chase, who is also exec producing. Ted Wass is directing.

  • Young thesps Martin Spanjers (“Daddio”) Kaley Cuoco (“Ladies Man” and Amy Davidson have nabbed roles in ABC’s “8 Simple Rules,” based on W. Bruce Cameron’s book “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” Project, written by Tracy Gamble, centers on a protective dad raising his teenage daughters.

Cuoco and Davidson will play the two teenage daughters; Spanjers will play the son. The roles of the father, and mother, have yet to be cast. Gamble will executive produce the pilot with Flody Suarez and Tom Shadyac.

  • Joining Paul Wasilewski and Julian Morris in “Arthur” are a bevy of Brit thesps, including James Hoare as Kay, Stephen Billington as Vortigan, Tony Mandsley as Aloysius, Laura Rees as Morgana, David Birkin as Mordred, Adrian Lukis as Ector, Desmond Barrit as Bullwhitt, Patrick Gordon as Grimthorpe, Mark Tandy as Wollmander and Clive Swift as Illtud. A few key characters, including the roles of Guinevere and Merlin have yet to be cast. Project is being shot in Prague. Remi Aubuchon and Graham Yost are writers/exec producers.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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