Chris Messina has joined Mindy Kaling’s Fox single-camera comedy pilot, in which she stars as a young Bridget Jones-type Ob/Gyn balancing her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office. Messina, who had multiple pilot offers this season, will play a character written for him by Kaling. Messina, repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment, is finishing up a recurring role on Damages and is also recurring on Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO series Newsroom. His upcoming films include Celeste And Jesse Forever and the Ben Affleck-directed Argo.
Luis Guzman has been cast in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three sisters, one of them played by Margo Martindale, running their family diner together in West Texas. Guzman will play a Puerto Rican who has been living in the Texan town for decades working at the sisters’ diner.
Veteran character actor Rade Serbedzija has been cast in the ABC drama pilot Penoza, written and executive produced by Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg. Based on the Dutch format, it centers on Martha (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Serbedzjia, most recently seen in Angelina Jolie’s In The Land Of Blood And Honey, will play Andrei Lazarev, a respected old-school Russian mobster.