EXCLUSIVE: CSI alumna Lauren Lee Smith has landed a regular role in FX‘s high-profile drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which is being eyed for a 13-episode pickup. The high-concept thriller tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Smith will play Eph’s ex-wife Kelly Goodweather. After winning a bitter custody battle, she embarks on a new life with her boyfriend, but when she fails to heed her husband’s warning about the contagion spreading in Manhattan, she pays the ultimate price. Smith, repped by Gersh, Industry Entertainment and Play Management, is starring in the indie Cinemanovel, which she also produced.
Brett Gelman (Go On) and Jenny Slate (SNL) have joined FX‘s untitled Andrew Gurland comedy pilot, about the lengths to which two best friends are willing to go to salvage their marriage. Lina Bowman (Judy Greer) and her husband Russ Bowman (Nat Faxon) get along great in every room except the bedroom. In order to save their otherwise great marriage and family, Lina gives her husband permission to take care of his needs elsewhere. Gelman, repped by CAA, Mosaic and Isaac Donham, will play Russ’ close friend AJ, an intense, recently divorced guy. Slate will play Russ’ best friend Jess, a petite ex-party girl who is now married to a much older guy. Gurland, who wrote the script, will also direct and executive produce alongside Paul Young and Peter Principato.