After a lengthy search, young British actor Daniel Ezra has been cast as the lead in the CW’s untitled April Blair/Spencer Paysinger drama pilot from writer April Blair, Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods., L.A. Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers and Warner Bros. TV.

Written by Blair and directed by Rob Hardy, the project is inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger. It centers on Spencer James (Ezra), a rising high school football player from South L.A. who is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. The wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Crenshaw and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. The smart and charming son of a single mother, Spencer is a talented athlete and A+ student who must learn to deal with a host of emotions when he transfers from Crenshaw High to Beverly Hills High.

Ezra joins previously cast Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Monet Mazur, Michael Evans Behling, Cody Christian and Karimah Westbrook.

Blair executive produces with Hardy and Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Rogers, who is married to Berlanti, is a producer. Dane Morck serves as consultant.

In the U.S., Ezra had a recurring role on the BBC/Starz co-production The Missing. His British TV credits also include miniseries Prime Suspect 1743 and Undercover. This marks his U.S. acting debut. On stage, Ezra recently performed as Sebastian in Twelfth Night at The National. He is repped by UK’s Curtis Brown and Peikoff Mahan.