HOLLYWOOD — Debbie Reynolds (“Mother”) is taking on the “Generation Gap” for the WB.
Veteran thesp is among several high-profile castings completed Friday as the nets continue to put the finishing touches on fall 2002 pilots. Other actors joining projects include Carol Kane and John O’Hurley, while NBC has found its three daughters for Chevy Chase. And Andrew McCarthy — who started his career with “St. Elmo’s Fire” — is headed back to D.C. for the CBS drama “Georgetown.”
Here are the latest developments:
- Reynolds will tackle the role of a vibrant, free-spirited grandmother who moves in with her stuck-in-the-mud daughter, who has kids of her own. The role of Reynolds’ daughter in the Viacom Prods.-produced project, previously known as “My Crazy Grandma,” has not yet been cast. Kayla Alpert is scribe-exec producer, and Tim O’Donnell also is exec producing.
Reynolds, who is repped by William Morris, has made more than 50 movies in her 50-year career, including “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
- Carol Kane (“Taxi,” “The Princess Bride”) has signed on to play Randy Quaid’s wife in Fox comedy pilot “The Grubbs,” which concerns a lower-middle-class family in a Pennsylvania steel town. Josh Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia are the writers, creators and exec producers of the Studios USA- and Granada-produced project. Ann Johnson also is exec producing.
- John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld”) has signed on to host the Peacock’s pilot for a nonfiction version of the classic ABC hour “Fantasy Island,” which starred Ricardo Montalban as the wish-fulfilling overlord of a mysterious island resort. NBC Studios will produce the project, developed by Columbia TriStar Television. New “Fantasy” skein will take real people and put them on an island resort where one of their wishes or desires is fulfilled. But as in the original, there won’t always be a happy outcome. ICM-repped O’Hurley most recently hosted the syndie game revival of “To Tell the Truth.”
- Young thesps Abigail Mavity, Allison Scagliotti-Smith and Rheagan Wallace have been tapped as the trio of daughters to whom Chevy Chase plays dad in his buzzed-about pilot for NBC. Mavity has taken the role of 9-year-old Claire, while Scagliotti-Smith will play the middle child and Wallace the 15-year-old. Thesps are repped by Abrams Artists, Myrna Lieberman Management and Reel Talent, respectively.
- McCarthy, who’s starred in several CBS telepics in recent years, joins Helen Mirren in the Eye’s politically themed sudser “Georgetown.” Big Ticket-produced pilot is from exec producers Joseph Dougherty, Al Ruddy and Jerry Rafshoon.
- Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: Insurrection”) will direct UPN’s “Twilight Zone,” while Jeremy Piven has signed on as the lead guest star in the new version of the anthology series.
Following the same format as the original series, the pilot, produced by Trilogy Entertainment Group in association with New Line Television, will feature one self-contained, hosted story. In that story, Piven, who is repped by William Morris Agency, will portray a telephone linesman. While repairing damage caused by a freak storm, the linesman gets struck down by lightning, then learns that he has the power to access people’s thoughts. The host has not yet been cast.
Pen Densham (“Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “The Outer Limits”) is the writer and will exec produce with his partners Mark Stern (“Outer Limits”) and John Watson (“The Magnificent Seven”).
- The Daniel Stern-led cast of the Alphabet’s “Regular Joe” has just about been rounded out, with “Seinfeld” vet Estelle Harris and Bill Macy to play the parents of Joe (Stern) and John Francis Daley (“Freaks and Geeks”) taking on the role of his teenage son. Emiliano Diez will play a longtime employee of Joe’s family hardware biz in the Touchstone Television-produced comedy. Thesps join Kelly Karbacz and Eric Christian Olsen, who play Joe’s daughter and her boyfriend, respectively. Yet to be cast is Joe’s wife.
- Canuck thesp Jennifer Irwin (“Inside Schwartz”) has joined the CBS/20th Century Fox TV pilot “Still Standing.”
Irwin, who next portrays Jane Curtin in the upcoming ABC made-for “It’s Always Something: The Gilda Radner Story,” has nabbed the role of Linda, the sister-in-law of Mark Addy’s character. Additional castings for the pilot include Renee Olstead (“My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star”), Taylor Ball (“The Rookie”) and Soleil Borda as Addy’s children.
Laffer, from “Yes, Dear” co-exec producers Diane Burroughs and Joey Gutierrez, will revolve around a blue-collar family that finds itself the only traditional clan on the block. Irwin’s deal was brokered by the Gersh Agency and Barry Katz Entertainment.
- Newcomer Rhasaan Orange has landed the role of Assistant U.S. Attorney Rafael “Rafe” Garcia in the Scott Foley-led NBC and 20th pilot “A.U.S.A.” Amanda Detmer, Adam Rothenberg, Peter Jacobson and John Ross Bowie also star. The half-hour project concerns a young lawyer (Foley) just starting his career as a prosecutor in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. Project, inspired by the early career of writer-exec producer Rich Appel, focuses on his professional and personal misadventures as he tries to make his mark on the justice system.
- “Mayor of Baltimore,” the David Mills-penned CBS drama from Spelling Television, has been rolled to midseason due to casting issues.
(Jill Feiwell and Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)