Gary Anthony Williams has been added to the cast of Greg Daniels’ comedy pilot Friday Night Dinner. The single-camera project, based on the British format, centers on a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night and stars Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub as matriarch Jackie and patriarch Martin. Williams, repped by Don Buchwald/Fortitude, ROAR and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play Mr. Marley, the neighbor who frequently shows up at the family’s front step and appears infatuated with Jackie. The character was originally named Koechner and written for actor-comedian David Koechner. In January, NBC signed Koechner in a talent holding deal with NBC. Under it, he was to do Friday Night Dinner or do more episodes of The Office, where he has appeared occasionally since the second season. When FND was officially picked up to pilot a week later, the neighbor character was not put out for casting. But a week or so ago, a breakdown for the character was released with his name and ethnicity changed, and Williams was eventually cast. It is unclear whether that means a bigger role for Koechner on The Office next season.
Nick Zano has joined the cast in ABC’s comedy pilot Prairie Dogs. The single-camera project, from writers/executive producers Jackie and Jeff Filgo and ABC Studios, centers on Neil (Kal Penn), an uncool cubicle worker aka “prairie dog” at one of the coolest companies in the world who becomes the victim of identity theft. When he discovers the thief (Zano) has created a much more fulfilling life with his identity than he ever has, he engages the charismatic conman to help him change his life. Zano, repped by ICM and John Carrabino, is recurring on 2 Broke Girls as Max’s (Kat Dennings) love interest.
Rebecca Delgado Smith has been cast in is in Claudia Lonow’s ABC comedy pilot How to Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life. The multi-camera/hybrid comedy, from 20th TV and Imagine, centers on Polly (Sarah Chalke), a recently divorced single mom, who moves in with her eccentric mother Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins) and explosive stepfather Max (Grad Garrett). Delgado Smith will play Polly’s assistant. Delgado Smith, repped by Principato Young and attorney Melissa Manfro, is member of the sketch group Harvard Sailing Team and performs regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She joins her husband, Chris Smith, who also booked a 20th TV-produced comedy pilot this season, the Nick Stoller project at CBS.
Wendy Crewson (The Vow) has been added to ABC’s drama pilot Beauty And The Beast, a fantasy re-imagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale wherein an embattled princess, Grace (Ruth Bradley), discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast, Shiro (Darius Campbell), a mercenary bodyguard. Crewson will play Mara, a member of Emperor Dorian’s (F. Murray Abraham) cabinet and a friend of Grace. Yves Simoneau is directing the ABC Studios pilot from a script by Jon Steinberg. Crewson, repped by Domain and manager Perry Zimel, will next be seen in the biopic Winnie and thriller Anti Viral.
Felix Solis has been cast in CBS’ drama pilot Baby Big Shot. The project, from writer Dana Calvo, showrunner Kevin Falls, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare, is a legal drama centered on Martina (Janet Montgomery), a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm. Solis will play River, a former LAPD detective-turned-law firm investigator. Solis was cast as a guest star in the pilot because he is regular on CBS’ upcoming drama NYC 22, but has a backup deal to continue on Baby Big Shot if NYC 22 doesn’t get renewed.
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