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Pilots casting hot, heavy

De Rossi is 'Arrested,' Pressly has 'Point'

Portia de Rossi’s development has been “Arrested,” Tate Donovan plans a move to “The O.C.,” Jaime Pressly has found “Alligator Point” and Duane Martin will lead “All of Us.”

Deals were among many closed Wednesday as pilot castings continue at fever pitch.

De Rossi (“Ally McBeal”) has joined Jason Bateman in the cast of Fox comedy pilot “Arrested Development,” from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine.

She’ll portray the sister of Bateman’s lead character, a straight-laced man who must take over his family business when his father goes to jail. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Mitch Hurwitz are exec producers.

Thesp, who is repped by ICM and Hyler Management, recently starred as Caroline Bessette Kennedy in TBS telepic “America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story.” She also had a guest turn on NBC’s “Mister Sterling.”

Also fresh from “Mister Sterling,” Donovan has joined the McG and Josh Schwartz Fox drama pilot from Warner Bros. TV and Wonderland Prods.

Donovan, repped by Gersh, will play the father of Mischa Barton’s character. Adam Brody (“Gilmore Girls,” “Once and Again”) has been cast as Peter Gallagher’s son.

“The O.C.” revolves around a street-smart teen who winds up in the high-class society of Orange County. Doug Liman is directing the pilot episode.

Brody is repped by Endeavor and Gold/Levin Talent.

Meanwhile, after fielding offers for several half-hours this pilot season, Martin (“Deliver Us from Eva”) has snagged the male lead in “All of Us,” the UPN pilot loosely based on the lives of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The wife counterpart to Martin, who is repped by Three Arts and Paul Kohner Agency, has not been cast.

Stan Lathan is directing the half-hour from Warner Bros. and Overbrook TV. Scribe Betsy Borns (“Roseanne”) is exec producing, along with Smith, Pinkett-Smith and Overbrook’s James Lassiter.

Comedy revolves around a husband and his second wife, both of whom raise his son from his first marriage — with the ex-wife still in the picture.

Pressly (“Not Another Teen Movie”) has been cast in the role of Gina for NBC’s comedy pilot “Alligator Point,” starring Nathan Fillion.

Project, from Grammnet Prods. and scribe Robert Peacock, is set at a restaurant in the Deep South and focuses on the lives of a fisherman, his ex-wife and an eccentric cast of characters.

Paramount is producing; Kelsey Grammer and Steve Stark are exec producers. Also joining the cast are Jim Rash (“The Naked Truth”) as Preacher and James McDaniel (“Taken”) as Garfield. Pressly is repped by ICM and Roklin Management.

Other recent castings include:

  • Rapper Heavy D — real name Dwight Myers — has joined the cast of NBC’s Tracy Morgan pilot.

    Heavy D, who’s repped by Innovative Artists, recently appeared in several “Boston Public” episodes. His feature work includes “The Cider House Rules.”

    He also wrote the theme song to Fox’s “Mad TV.”

  • Ted McGinley (“Married . . . With Children”) leads the cast on the WB drama pilot “Family Curse.”

    McGinley will play Kellen, the father of a family of archaeologists who hunt down ancient evils.

    Joining McGinley will be Lindsay Frost (“The Ring”), who will play mother Kate; Brian Sites (“8 Simple Rules”), as son Jamie; and Britt Irvin (“Taken”) as daughter Miranda.

    “Family Curse” was formerly known as “Shadow Walkers.” The pilot, written by Dan Angel & Billy Brown, comes from Regency TV.

  • Bob Odenkirk (“Mr. Show”) will star in the Fox pilot he’s also executive producing, “The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke.”

    Odenkirk wrote the 20th Century Fox TV show, about a suburban dad and his family. Odenkirk’s other credits include “The Ben Stiller Show.”

  • Rick Hoffman (“Philly”) has been cast in the role of detective Terlesky in the Touchstone/ABC one-hour pilot “The Partners.”

    Marc Buckland is directing with Nena Rodrigue, scribe Kerry Ehrin and Jim Parriott executive producing.

    Hoffman joins Mary Catherine Garrison and Liz Vassey in the project about a pair of female undercover cops.

    Hoffman, who’s repped by Anonymous Content and Gersh, is currently recurring on “Bernie Mac” and “Crossing Jordan.”

  • Harry Groener, who spooked “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Sunnydale’s mayor, has joined the cast of the WB’s “Kid Mayor.”

    Sony Pictures TV is producing the laffer, which comes from Adam Sandler, Doug Robinson, Adam Resnick and Jack Giarraputo.

    Groener, who’s repped by Susan Smith, is a three-time Tony nominee.

  • Emily Rutherford (“The Ellen Show”) has joined the cast of ABC’s untitled Tom Hertz project in the role of Mary.

  • Warner Bros. TV and Jerry Bruckheimer TV have added cast members to their WB drama “Fearless.” Signing on are Eric Balfour (“Veritas”) as Ryan Ian Somerhalder (“Young Americans”) as Jordan and Bianca Lawson (“Save the Last Dance”) as Harmony.

(Melissa Grego contributed to this report.)

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