EXCLUSIVE: Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Bryce Gangel (Crisis), Curtiss Cook (The Chi), and Darren Pettie (Sneaky Pete) are set as series regulars opposite Lena Headey in Showtime dramedy pilot Rita, based on Christian Torpe’s award-winning Danish series. Torpe will pen the pilot and serve as showrunner. Rita is a co-production of Showtime and Platform One Media.
In Rita, Headey will play the title character, a headstrong, unconventional teacher and single mother who takes on every kind of authority – as well as her family – in a messy and unfiltered way.
Hutcherson will play Ricco, Rita’s oldest son, a former bad boy who can do no wrong in her eyes. Gangel April, Ricco’s girlfriend, a psych major who enjoys the challenge of domesticating Ricco. Cook will portray Spencer, the sensitive and professional principal at the school where Rita teaches. Pettie is Tom, April’s father whose past relationship is unearthed in an unexpected way. Additionally, Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces) will recur as June, the cultured and controlling mother of Ricco’s girlfriend April (Gangel).
Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Lisa Cholodenko (Olive Kitteridge, The Kids Are All Right) will direct the pilot and executive produce with Headey and Torpe, along with Elisa Ellis for Platform One Media, which is headed by Katie O’Connell Marsh.
Hutcherson will reprise his leading role in Future Man for Hulu this spring. His other recent credits include the independent feature film Burn. Hutcherson is repped by CAA, Ric Beddingfield Company and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.
Gangel’s credits include Fox’s The Exorcist, Crisis, NBC’s Chicago Fire and a supporting role in the critically praised feature Princess Cyd. She is repped by Principal Entertainment, Paonessa Talent and JR McGinnis at Felker Toczek.
Pettie recurs on CBS’ Evil and NBC’s New Amsterdam, and he recently co-starred in Ed Zwick’s Trial by Fire. He’s repped by Talentworks and Principal Entertainment LA.
Cook recurs as Otis “Douda” Perry on Showtime’s The Chi. His other credits include series Mayans M.C., Manifest, Luke Cage, House of Cards, among others, and features Arbitrage, Shutter Island, The Interpreter and the upcoming West Side Story. He is repped by Harden Curtis, Kirsten Riley Agency, Jordan Lee Talent and TCA Mgmt.
Brandt, who co-starred on Life in Pieces and Breaking Bad, is repped by Talentworks and Patty Woo Management.