A&E Networks, which is enjoying a banner year thanks to the success of Duck Dynasty, Vikings and The Bible, unveiled a slate of new projects at its upfront presentation Wednesday, including a miniseries about Houdini starring Adrien Brody in the title role and reality shows about the real-life Hatfields and McCoys and stay-at-home dads.
Mary Steenburgen, James D'Arcy
Mary Steenburgen has been tapped to play wife to Richard Dreyfuss — and thus mom to Jason Biggs — in the CBS comedy pilot Happiness Isn't Everything. Steenburgen's character is described by the Hollywood Reporter as "unbelievably sensitive," whereas Dreyfuss' is ... not.
In other CBS pilot news, British actor James D'Arcy has ...
James D'Arcy by Mark Sullivan/ WireImage.com
British thesp James D'Arcy (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) has landed the lead in Virtuality, Fox's two-hour backdoor pilot from Battlestar Galactica exec producer Ronald D. Moore, says the Reporter.Set on Earth's first starship, Virtuality has D'Arcy playing the psych officer in charge of producing virtual reality shows designed to keep the crew amused during their 10-year voyage. (On Star Trek, that all fell on Yeoman Rand.) MWMRelated: Galactica Vets' Virtuality Takes Flight on FoxMore casting news:• Young Frankenstein Lawyers Up for ABC• Rose McGowan to Play a Woman in Chains?
Who's doing what this pilot season? From the Reporter: Huff's two-time Emmy nominee, Oliver Platt, has joined ABC's D.C.-set British import, The Thick of It. As first scooped by Ausiello, Chris Lowell (aka Veronica Mars' Piz) is set to guest-star on the Grey's Anatomy episode setting up the possible spin-off. Deets on Lowell's character, even his name, are being kept hush-hush. Hmmm.... Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) joins Molly Stanton (Twins) and Dorian Brown as sorority sisters trying to clean up their act after college in an untiled Fox laffer. Eric Winter (Wildfire) is a police detective in CBS' Viva Laughlin. Reba's Steve Howey is The Beast in Fox's comedy about a womanizing veterinarian. James D'Arcy is a lead agent on the hunt for E.T. sleeper cells in Fox's Them. Thad Luckinbill (The Young and the Restless) has joined CBS' police serial Protect and Serve.