Randy Quaid will lead Fox’s “The Grubbs,” while Emmy winner John Larroquette, Patrick Dempsey and Balthazar Getty are the latest thesps to sign up for ABC’s untitled Larry Gelbart pilot.
Also, Judge Reinhold is taking on the WB’s “Brave New World,” former “Single Guy” Jonathan Silverman is hooking up with NBC’s “Miss Miami” and helmer Lev Spiro (“Gilmore Girls”) has signed to direct his first pilot.
Deals are among several that closed Tuesday as the networks continued to firm up their pilot plans. Here’s the latest:
- In Fox’s “The Grubbs,” Quaid will portray Mac Grubb, a lower-middle-class father in a Pennsylvania steel town who is trying to teach his children that the secret to happiness is giving up all hope. Josh Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia are the writers-creators of the Studios USA-produced project. Michael Cera and Brian Sites already have been cast as a 14-year-old who falls in love with a beautiful teacher and his 15-year-old brother, respectively. Still to be cast are the roles of the mom, teacher and coach. Quaid is repped by Paradigm.
- Dempsey, who is repped by CAA and managed by Joanie Burstein, and Getty will play the sons of the main media-baron character in the untitled Larry Gelbart sudser pilot that Touchstone Television is producing for ABC. Having drawn critical praise for his dramatic work on “The Practice,” Larroquette is negotiating to take the lead role.
Martin Landau was cast earlier this week as a key adviser to the media family, while Robert Sean Leonard (“Tape”) will play the illegitimate son (Daily Variety, March 12).
- Silverman, who starred in the NBC comedy “The Single Guy,” is returning to the Peacock as the male lead in the NBC Studios/Touchstone Television-produced hour drama pilot “Miss Miami,” about two FBI agents. Roselyn Sanchez co-stars. Michael Duggan is the showrunner. Silverman, repped by UTA and Talent Entertainment Group, will appear in the upcoming Showtime movie “Bobby’s Girl.”
- Reinhold will play Harry, an old-fashioned, intellectual dad, in the Turner Television-produced WB comedy pilot “Brave New World.” With his wife, Harry decides to send his kids to public school after years of private schooling. Mark O’Keefe and Becky Hartman-Edwards exec produce.
- Spiro has signed to helm “Do Over,” the Par/Warren Littlefield laffer at the WB. It’s the first time Spiro has directed a pilot, though he has plenty of experience behind the camera. He directed multiple segs of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Maybe It’s Me,” and has helmed numerous Tollin/Robbins Prods. skeins for Nickelodeon. Spiro’s repped by the Rothman Agency.
- CBS has decided to push back the previously ordered Warner Bros. TV drama “The Sharon McCone Mysteries” to midseason as the net and studio search for a lead.
- RonReaco Lee (UPN’s “Girlfriends”), Ana Ortiz (“Kristin”) and Jon Polito (“The Man Who Wasn’t There”) have been cast in the Fox comedy pilot “Life on Parole.” Laffer pilot stars star Dave Herman (“Office Space”) as a parole officer whose parolee is one of his best friends. Lee will play the friend, with Ortiz as a trainee parole officer and Polito playing Herman’s boss.
Project is a co-production of DreamWorks Television and 20th Century Fox Television. Judd Apatow and Brent Forrester will write the pilot and serve as executive producers. Jon Favreau (“Made”) will direct the pilot.
- Heather Matarazzo (“The Princess Diaries”) and Diane Delano (“Popular”) are going to prep school in the WB’s Delta Burke comedy “Saint Sass,” aka “Horrid Little Girls.” Matarazzo next will be seen in the Disney pic “Sorority Boys.” The half-hour pilot is a joint production of Ryan Murphy (“Popular”), Tollin/Robbins and Warner Bros. TV.
- Christen Nelson (WB’s “Hype”) and Michael Hitchcock (“Best in Show”) have been added to the cast of the Warner Bros. Television-produced Untitled Improv Sitcom from Rob Cohen for the WB. They join Jeff Davis in the half-hour pilot, a blend of scripted material and improvisation. Nelson is repped by Principato-Young Management, Acme Talent Agency and law firm Stone, Meyer & Genow.
- Nat Faxon (“Grosse Pointe”) has been added to the cast of WB comedy pilot “In My Opinion,” playing a sensitive newspaper photographer. Lona Williams is exec producing the project from Turner Television. Rounding out the cast of newcomers, Faxon joins Richard Trapp, Bianca Kojlich, Stacy Francis and Peter McKenzie. Faxon, also a member of the Groundlings, is repped by Principato-Young Management and Innovative Artists.
- Jessica Steen (“Armageddon”) has been added to Jeff Rake’s untitled Secret Service pilot for Fox as streetwise supervisor Maureen Gage. Drama project, produced by 20th Century Fox TV, follows the lives of Washington, D.C.-based Secret Service agents.
(Josef Adalian and Jill Feiwell contributed to this report.)