EXCLUSIVE: CBS‘ untitled Ralph Lamb drama pilot has added another prominent member to its all-star cast. Terra Nova star Jason O’Mara has been tapped to co-star in the project, joining Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss. For O’Mara, the pilot is in second position to prehistoric drama Terra Nova, which is still alive as talks between series producer 20th Century Fox TV and Netflix about a second season continue. O’Mara has fielded multiple pilot offers since Fox cancelled Terra Nova two weeks ago. Set in the 1960s, the untitled Ralph Lamb project, written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker and directed by James Mangold, chronicles the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid) – rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas – and Johnny Savino (Chiklis), a Chicago mob fixer whose entrepreneurial vision for transforming Las Vegas collides with the law-and-order mandate of Sheriff Lamb. O’Mara will play Ralph Lamb’s younger brother Frank, the diplomat in the family.
Also cast in the pilot in guest-starring roles are Michael Reilly Burke, Michael O’Neill and James Russo. Burke will play A.D.A. Katherine O’Connel’s (Moss) boss, D.A. Reynolds, an alpha prosecutor with a burning ambition for power. O’Neill will play Vegas Mayor Bennett, a man with a vision. He has been bucking the state’s Governor, who wants to move Vegas’s power and money up north to Reno. Russo will play Big Tuna, an old-world gangster who runs Vegas for his Chicago bosses. The first two roles were originally listed as regular but have been scaled back as guest-starring/recurring partly because of the big names the pilot was able to land for the four main leads. It is likely that at least some of the three roles will be upgraded to regular if the pilot goes to series. Pileggi, Mangold, Walker, Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian are executive producing the CBS TV Studios-produced Ralph Lamb, with Quaid and Chiklis co-executive producing. O’Mara is with UTA and the JTWAMM law firm. Burke, who recurs on ABC’s Revenge, is with Domain and Levine/Okwu/Erickson. Ralph Lamb is the second high-profile pilot to sign an actor from Terra Nova in second position, along with NBC’s Matthew Perry-starring comedy Go On, which cast Allison Miller. For O’Mara, this would mark the third consecutive series project set in the past, following the ABC 1970s drama Life On Mars and Fox’s Terra Nova.