EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel is putting the finishing touches on the cast for its first original scripted program, six-hour miniseries Klondike. I’ve learned that Game Of Thrones‘ Richard Madden, Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud), Abbie Cornish (RoboCop), Ian Hart (Luck), Johnny Simmons (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Conor Leslie (Chained), Tim Roth and Tim Blake Nelson are set or in negotiations to join Chris Cooper in the project, produced by Scott Free Prods., Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. Assembling a cast of established actors for Klondike was important for Discovery as it enters the scripted arena. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. Directed by Simon Cellan Jones from a script by Paul Scheuring, Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz, Klondike centers on childhood best friends Bill Haskell (Madden) and Byron Epstein (Prew) who head west in 1897 to seek their fortune in the Yukon Territories during the gold rush, where they face a harrowing journey of adventure, excitement and danger at every turn. Cornish plays the female lead Belinda, the powerful eyes and ears of Dawson City who owns the mill and the loan shop and doesn’t think very highly of those seeking a fortune in gold. Hart, repped by APA, plays Soapy Smith, an irrepressible Yukon con man and pick pocket. Simmons plays Jack London, a heavy drinker and adrenaline junkie who’s determined to write a shelf full of novels about his experiences. Leslie plays Sabine, an ambitious local beauty. Roth plays The Count; Nelson plays Meeker. Madden, repped by WME and Troika, just wrapped A Promise. Hart is coming off another eOne project, DirecTV series Rogue.