UPDATED, 5:38 PM: Brian Howe (Masters of Sex) and Jayne Taini (Ray Donovan) have booked series regular roles opposite Jeremy Sisto and Archie Panjabi in ABC’s murder trial drama pilot The Jury. Written by VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli and executive produced by Carol Mendelsohn, The Jury examines “the ultimate social experiment” that happens thousands of times a day in the U.S.: A person’s fate is placed in the hands of 12 strangers. Described as “12 Angry Men meets the podcast Serial,” the series follows a single murder trial a season as seen through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment and how their preconceptions change along the way. Howe will play Reverend Jim Pyken, who is obviously a religious man, the kind to say Grace before eating his morning bagel or to reference Scripture in his arguments. But he’s also an avuncular Texan who can crack a joke to ease the tension in a room or use charming Southernisms while making a complex point. Taini will play Maria, a maternal grandmother who seems a bit dotty and irrelevant, but when people start listening to her, they notice she’s a lot sharper than they assumed and makes some more enlightening revelations in the case. Taini is repped by SDB Partners and Michael Einfeld Management. Howe, who also recurs on Vice Principals, is repped by The Kohner Agency.
Richard Masur is set as a series regular opposite Candice Bergen in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot Pearl. Written/executive produced by Andrew Reich and directed by Smith, Pearl centers on Pearl (Bergen), a larger-than-life family matriarch who, after she finds out she has cancer, becomes intent on controlling and orchestrating every aspect of her family’s life before she dies. Perkins will play Virginia, Pearl’s daughter who has the not-so-easy task of trying to get along with her mother, given the news about her health. Masur will play Len, Pearl’s second and current husband, a retired plastics engineer, a sweet nerd who is interested in everything and everyone he meets. He clearly adores Pearl and is in total denial that she’s got six months to live. Masur, repped by SMS Talent and Leading Artists, also recurs on Transparent.