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Stars steered toward pilots

Pilots make room for Mirren, Garth, Shaud

Helen Mirren has nabbed a lead role in CBS’ “Georgetown,” former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Jennie Garth is going to Gotham for the WB, and Grant Shaud (“Murphy Brown”) will father Fox’s “Oliver Beene.”

Deals are among the latest in network TV’s pilot casting process. Here’s the latest in pilot news:

  • Mirren (“Prime Suspect”) will star as media mogul — and mom — Annabelle Garrison in the D.C. drama “Georgetown,” which Big Ticket Television is producing, while Joanna Going (“Inventing the Abbotts”) and Ivan Martin (upcoming Woody Allen pic “Hollywood Ending”) will portray her children. Joseph Dougherty is writing and exec producing, while Jerry Rafshoon, Al S. Ruddy and John Kousakis also are exec producing. Deals lift the pilot’s cast-contingency.

Martin’s initial reading for “Georgetown” marked his first audition in Los Angeles. He’s repped by Henderson Hogan and managed by Ted Schachter and Lillian LaSalle. Going is repped by the Gersh Agency.

  • Garth, who is repped by the Gersh Agency, has joined the WB’s Untitled Calhoun/Schneider comedy pilot, which stars Amanda Bynes. Garth will play Bynes’ older sister, a type A who lives in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and works in public relations. She helped raise her younger sister and now struggles to find a sister/mother/friend balance. She joins Simon Rex, who already was cast as Garth’s boyfriend (Daily Variety, March 18.) Warner Bros. Television and Tollin/Robbins are producing. Joe Davola, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Wil Calhoun and Dan Schneider are exec producing, while Calhoun and Schneider are also the project’s scribes. Gary Halvorson is directing.

  • Shaud will play the unlucky dad in 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks TV’s “Oliver Beene,” which revolves around a family where everything goes wrong. WMA-repped thesp’s recent credits include “Antz” and “From the Earth to the Moon.” Skein is from scribes/producers Steve Levitan and Howard Gewirtz.

Also joining the “Beene” cast are Wendy Makkena as Oliver’s mom and Andy Lawrence (“Brotherly Love,” “Tucker”) as Oliver’s brother. Oliver has not yet been cast.

  • David Julian Hirsh has been cast in NBC’s “Zero Effect” in the role of Jeffrey Winslow. He joins Alan Cumming, who stars as Daryl Zero in the Warner Bros.- and Castle Rock-produced drama pilot based on Jake Kasdan’s pic “Zero Effect.” Walon Green is writing and exec producing; Kasdan is directing and exec producing. Hirsh is managed by Gilbertson Kincaid and repped by agent Rich Caplan.

  • Adam Rodriguez (“Roswell”) has joined the cast of CBS’ “C.S.I. Miami.,” which CBS Prods. and Alliance-Atlantis are producing.

  • Jason O’Mara has been cast as the Devil in Fox’s “Eastwick,” which Warner Bros. Television is producing.

  • Morena Baccarin has been cast in the role that Rebecca Gayheart recently bowed out of in Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” which 20th Century Fox Television is producing for Fox. A recent Juilliard grad, this marks her TV debut; thesp is represented by ICM and Lee Daniels Management.

  • CBS has picked-up Jeff Strauss’ (“Friends,” “Dream On”) untitled pilot, to be produced by 20th Century Fox in association with CBS Prods. Comedy, which has yet to be cast, concerns career-minded people struggling over their marriages and raising children.

“The show’s based on my life and the lives of pretty much every busy two-career couple I know,” Strauss said. “It’s an honest, sometimes brutal look at how little we actually know about relationships and raising kids and how any of this stuff actually works.”

(Susanne Ault and Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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