EXCLUSIVE: Piper Perabo and Kevin Daniels have joined The Big Leap, Fox’s ballet-themed hourlong comedy-drama pilot, in recastings, and Mallory Jansen also is set as a lead in the project inspired by the UK reality series Big Ballet.
Written by The Passage writer/executive producer Liz Heldens, The Big Leap is described as a funny and contemporary tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours. The show revolves around a group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life who compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a modern, hip remake of Swan Lake. What they lack in the traditional dancer body type, they make up for with their edge, wit and desire to reimagine an iconic story to fit their own mold.
Perabo will play Paula Dirks, a dancer and white-collar former VP at one of the major car companies who decides that The Big Leap is a chance to just be vulnerable, let go of her fears and explore her artistic side. Perabo takes over for Laura Benanti, who initially was cast in the role but had to exit due to scheduling conflicts when the production timeline shifted.
Daniels will portray Wayne Sleep, a gay, joyful fellow who is one of the co-hosts of The Big Leap. A former dancer, he is entertaining, enthusiastic and encouraging. Daniels takes over for Matt Lucas, who also had to exit due to a scheduling conflict when the production timeline shifted.
Jansen will play Monica Sullivan, a former ballerina with an acid tongue who has come on to co-host and choreograph The Big Leap. She is intimidating, ruthless and convinced that this show is going to be an absolute disaster.
They join previously announced cast members Teri Polo, Scott Foley, Ser’Darius Blain, Ray Cham, Jon Rudnitsky and Simone Recasner.
Heldens executive produces with Sue Naegle and Peter Dale of UK company Rare Day, which produced the reality series. The project is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment.
Perabo, best known for her starring role as Annie Walker in USA’s Covert Affairs, most recently was seen on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, in a recurring role opposite Natalie Dormer and Rory Kinnear. She also can be seen in Netflix’s Turn Up Charlie, starring opposite Idris Elba. She most recently wrapped filming a recurring role for the upcoming season of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone. Perabo is repped by MGMT Entertainment and ICM Partners.
Daniels most recently was seen in the heavily recurring role of Peter Davis on NBC’s Council of Dads. His credits also include Modern Family and Atypical. On the film side, Daniels will be seen in a starring role in the upcoming indie thriller Do Not Disturb. He is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Luber Roklin Entertainment and attorney Jeff Bernstein.
Jansen starred for two seasons on Dan Fogelman’s musical comedy series Galavant for ABC. She then went on to a seasonlong arc on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and last year was a lead in ABC’s drama pilot Triangle. Jansen is repped by Innovative Artists and Trademark Talent.
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