Former Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber has landed a lead role in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. Bamber will play one of them, Tyler Wilson, a supernova vascular neurosurgeon who has a fling with a fellow neurosurgeon (Jennifer Finnigan). Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing the pilot; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct.
Tig Notaro and Lost alum Ken Leung round out the cast of Sarah Silverman’s NBC comedy pilot. Inspired by Silverman’s real-life experiences, the project stars the comedian as successful singer/songwriter Susan Farrow, who realizes her stifling 10-year relationship has been a bust and returns to her old apartment in an upscale Manhattan apartment building. Notaro will play one of Susan’s new friends, Beth Ann, a tenant in the building who has a 4-year-old daughter. Leung will play the recurring role of Gene, a shut-in who spends most of his time on his couch, wrapped in a blanket and watching TV. Like the other two co-leads opposite Silverman, Harris Wittels and June Diane Raphael, Notaro is a comedian-writer. Like Wittels, she also worked with Silverman on her Comedy Central series. (Notaro was a recurring; Wittels a writer). And like with Wittels, the role was written for her and she will play a version of herself. (In the script, the character’s name was originally Tig). Silverman wrote the pilot with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, who also worked on her Comedy Central series. Ken Kwapis is set to direct.
In other pilot news, Ernie Hudson has booked a recurring role on NBC’s futuristic drama Beautiful People, set in the near future in a society where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like people but are treated like second-class citizens. Hudson, repped by the Marshak/Zachary Co., will play the owner of a law firm.