EXCLUSIVE: The Shield alumna CCH Pounder has been tapped to co-star in CBS‘ legal drama pilot The Advocates. Written/executive produced by The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller and directed/exec produced by David Nutter, Advocates centers on female lawyer Shannon Carter and male ex-con Henry Bird who team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. Pounder will play the dedicated head of the Victims Advocate office where Shannon works. Pounder recently had a role on Syfy’s Warehouse 13.

In other pilot casting news, Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings), originally cast as a guest star in the NBC single-camera comedy pilot The Gates, has now been upped to a regular. He plays Brett, a gay Dad who is very much involved with the PTA. Guarino is is with CAA and Evolution. Jake Lacy (The Office) has been cast opposite Jacki Weaver in CBS‘ single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Written by Brian Gallivan, directed by Fred Savage and executive produced by Will Gluck, it revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son (Lacy) whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family.