Former “West Wing” star Jimmy Smits is returning to NBC for a drama pilot about a different branch of government, and Keri Russell may be coming back to television, thanks to some of the “Arrested Development” crew.
The day’s other pilot casting news includes additions to The CW’s “Nikita,” Judy Greer joining FOX’s “Tax Man,” Jerry O’Connell doing his second pilot this season and Jason Biggs seeking “True Love” at CBS.
Smits will star in an untitled legal drama from writer John Eisendrath (“Alias,” “My Own Worst Enemy”) as a Supreme Court justice who makes the unusual move of leaving the bench to return to private practice, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The multiple Emmy nominee (and one-time winner, for “L.A. Law”) last starred in the third season of “Dexter”; his TV credits also include “NYPD Blue” and “Cane.”
Russell hasn’t done regular TV series work since “Felicity” ended in 2002, but that could change soon. The HR says she’s in talks to star opposite Will Arnett in the FOX comedy “Wilde Kingdom,” which “Arrested” alumni Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely are writing. The show centers on a boorish rich guy (Arnett, naturally) who falls in love with a do-gooding woman (Russell) who hates everything he stands for.
At The CW, “The O.C.” and “CSI” veteran Melinda Clarke and Aaron Stanford (“Traveler,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”) have joined the cast of “Nikita,” an update of “La Femme Nikita” starring Maggie Q as an assassin-in-training. Clarke will play an operative and Stanford a tech specialist.
Greer (“Miss Guided,” “Archer”) has joined David Krumholtz in FOX’s Ron Howard-produced comedy “Tax Man.” She’ll play a former investment bank employee who comes to work at an IRS office in California.
O’Connell, late of “Do Not Disturb” and “Carpoolers,” will star opposite Jim Belushi in CBS’ “Defenders,” about a pair of colorful defense attorneys in Las Vegas. It’s his second pilot this year; he was a guest star in NBC’s show “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.”
Also at CBS, Biggs (“American Pie,” “My Best Friend’s Girl”) will star in CBS’ comedy “True Love,” the HR says. His character will fall for Minka Kelly’s character, despite the fact that he’s already in a relationship. Dan Fogler (“Taking Woodstock”) has also been cast as a friend with a jaundiced view of love.
Photo credits: Zap2it (Smits), Getty Images (Russell)