The Conners star and executive producer Sara Gilbert, Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital), Leland Orser (Brand New Cherry Flavor), Lyriq Bent (Four Brothers), J.R. Cacia (Infidel), Tate Donovan (Respect) and Kevin Dunn (Above suspicion) have been cast opposite Chris Messina in HBO Max pilot Verbatim, an anthology series from Brett Weiner, Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films, Left/Right Productions and the New York Times.
Verbatim, based on the New York Times Op-Docs digital series, tackles actual events with all dialogue taken from primary sources and presented verbatim. The pilot episode follows the story of the 2019 college admissions scandal.
The roles are not being revealed. Messina is believed to be playing the scheme’s ringleader Rick Singer, Gilbert is likely Laura Smith, the lead FBI investigator on the case who also is narrating the pilot; Orser, Donovan and Dunn may be playing three of the wealthy parents charged in the bribing scandal (Bill McGlashan, Bruce Isackson and John Wilson, respectively).
Because of the series’ anthology nature, I hear that, except for Messina, who is expected to link the different cases throughout the series, the rest of the cast are guest stars for the pilot only.
Red Hour’s Nicholas Weinstock, Jackie Cohn and Stiller executive produce with Left/Right’s Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver and Kathleen Lingo for the New York Times. Scott Lochmus and Michelene Starnadori will produce.
2020 HBO Max Pilots & Series Orders
Verbatim began as a short film that screened around the country including at the Sundance, South by Southwest and Telluride film festivals in 2014 and won the audience award at the Dallas International Film Festival. The New York Times expanded the film into a digital series that has garnered millions of views and was an official selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program with Verbatim: The Ferguson Case in 2016.
Gilbert is repped by Gersh and Management 360. Huebel is repped by UTA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Orser is repped by Gersh. Bent is repped by Buchwald, Luber Roklin Entertainment in the U.S. and The Associates Talent Agency and Seth Management in Canada. Cacia is repped by The Coronel Group. Donovan is repped by Gersh. Dunn is repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment.
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