Comedian Jon Dore has landed the lead in NBC’s comedy pilot My Life As an Experiment. And, in big (and not so good) news for fans of CBS’ Criminal Minds, series co-star Paget Brewster has been cast as the female lead in the pilot, from Sony, Reveille and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite.
Written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith based on the book by A.J. Jacobs, My Life As an Experiment centers on magazine immersion journalist A.J. Wilder (Dore), who explores all sorts of unique experiences. Brewster will play A.J.’s feisty and adorable lawyer wife. Brewster has no deal for Criminal Minds beyond this season, so if My Life As an Experiment goes to series, she won’t return to the CBS drama (at least not as a regular). UTA-repped Brewster was given the option to do a pilot this year when CBS modified her series regular deal for Criminal Minds in the summer, reducing the number of her guaranteed episodes. She took advantage of the opportunity and tested for a couple of half-hour pilots, landing My Life As an Experiment. (Neither the network nor studio behind Experiment is associated with Criminal Minds as CBS, series producer ABC Studios as well as CBS TV Studios and ABC refrained from casting the actress in their projects to avoid conflict with her possible return to the veteran drama.) Because of her situation, Brewster’s storyline on Criminal Minds this season ends with a cliffhanger that will allow the producers to bring her back or write her off if needed. But CBS and the show’s team are hoping she will come back, and the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler stressed that at TCA in January.
As for Dore, this represents a major break for the comedian, who starred in The Jon Dore Show on IFC. He’s with Gersh and Diamondfield Entertainment.