With the bulk of the pilots picked up, the broadcast networks and studios are drawing up their casting wish lists and sending out offers. As usual, there are a few names that keep cropping up early on.
Among those mentioned for multiple projects are former Person Of Interest co-star Sarah Shahi, who toplined the CBS drama pilot Drew last year; Saturday Night Live alumna Maya Rudolph; The Office and The Hangover‘s Ed Helms; and Transformers’ Josh Duhamel, who previously starred on CBS’ Battle Creek and NBC’s Las Vegas.
Also receiving multiple offers right off the bat are Steve Zahn, coming off the Amazon series Mad Dogs, and Entourage alum Jeremy Piven, most recently star of the British series Mr. Selfridge.
Additionally, former Grey’s Anatomy leading man Patrick Dempsey is being lured to jump back into the pilot fray.
A few other actors available for the first time in years after the end of series stints are expected to get attention: The Walking Dead veteran Steven Yeun, who recently departed the hit zombie drama in a major plot point, Bloodline‘s Kyle Chandler, Bates Motel‘s Vera Farmiga, Castle‘s Nathan Fillion, Bones‘ David Boreanaz, Masters Of Sex‘s Lizzy Caplan, Rizzoli & Isles‘ Sasha Alexander, The Mindy Project‘s Chris Messina and Salem‘s Janet Montgomery.
Additionally, Nashville star Connie Britton has been the object of strong network interest.
The CW pilot Life Sentence already snatched Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale from the departing Freeform hit, and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries are releasing sought-after young talent with strong social media followings.
Christina Applegate rarely engages, but she always gets comedy pilots offers. Ditto for Damon Wayans Jr. Also expected to be courted: SNL alum Jason Sudeikis and Desperate Housewives alumna Eva Longoria, coming off NBC’s Telenovela.
It’s still early, and there will be a lot more actors who will become hot commodities as competition among the networks intensifies with the clock ticking on pilot casting and production.
Other names that could be in play this year include Andy Garcia; Dustin Hoffman; The Bridge‘s Demian Bichir; Limitless‘ Jake McDorman; Carla Gugino, coming off Roadies; Mad Men alum John Slattery; Suits alumna Gina Torres, now on The Catch; About A Boy star David Walton; Parenthood‘s Monica Potter; Alessandro Nivola; Jason O’Mara, who is recurring on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Kelly Reilly (The Black Box, True Detective); Chuck alum Zachary Levi and Unforgettable‘s Dylan Walsh.