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Life of ‘Brian’ grows

Watson cast in drama gig

“Boogeyman” star Barry Watson has been cast as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot “What About Brian?” opposite Rosanna Arquette.

Also on the casting beat Tuesday, Jennifer Love Hewitt will star in CBS’ untitled John Gray pilot (also known as “The Ghost Whisperer”), while Aya Sumika has been added to the cast of ABC’s “Introducing Lennie Rose,” and NBC has rounded out the roster on its comedy entry “My Name Is Earl.”

Over at UPN, David Straiton has come onboard to direct the drama pilot “Wildlife.” Straiton’s credits include multiple episodes of “Cold Case” and “Star Trek: Enterprise” as well as “Point Pleasant.”

Leading the casting trail, Watson will star as a thirtysomething single man surrounded by married pals in “What About Brian?”

Besides his recent turn in “Boogeyman,” Watson is best known for his long-running stint as Matt Camden in “7th Heaven.” Credits also include “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” and “Sorority Boys.”

“What About Brian?” will also star Arquette, whose more recent TV credits include guest spots on “The L Word” and “Summerland,” and Rick Gomez (“Band of Brothers”), who will play Dave in the hourlong pilot.

Project comes from Touchstone and Bad Robot; J.J. Abrams, Dana Stevens and Thom Sherman exec produce.

Hewitt is set to play psychic Melinda Gordon on the John Gray project, which is loosely based on James Van Praagh’s work about paranormal investigators. Gray, Ian Sander and Kim Moses exec produce for Touchstone TV.

Hewitt was set to star in the midseason ABC laffer “In the Game” until that show was scrapped earlier this month. Thesp’s recent credits include “Garfield: The Movie” and the Oxygen telepic “Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber.”

Over on “Introducing Lennie Rose,” Sumika (“Hawaii”) has been tapped to play Stella. Touchstone drama, from Krista Vernoff and Ken Olin, is a New York-set sudser about a group of twentysomethings.

As for “My Name Is Earl,” new to the cast are Ethan Suplee (“Without a Paddle”), Nadine Velazquez (“Entourage”) and Eddie Steeples (“Torque”).

Suplee will play Earl’s brother, Randy, while Velazquez is onboard as hotel maid Tatiana, and Steeples has joined the cast as Earl’s friend Darnell.

“My Name Is Earl,” from 20th Century Fox TV and exec producers Greg Garcia and Marc Buckland, stars Jason Lee as a man who tries to make amends for past transgressions.

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