“Party Down” star and “Veronica Mars” alum Ryan Hansen is headed to NBC in its comedy “Friends with Benefits.”
Elsewhere on the casting front, Orlando Jones is joining FOX’s comedy “Tax Man,” Ritchie Coster has joined HBO’s drama “Luck” and Mircea Monroe will be part of Showtime’s Matt LeBlanc comedy “Episodes.”
Hansen has snagged a lead role in “Friends with Benefits,” which is about five friends who date within their circle while searching for their respective soulmates. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’ll play a regular guy who has a casual relationship with Danneel Harris’ character. The cast also includes Jessica Lucas (“Melrose Place”) and Fran Kranz (“Dollhouse”).
The second season of “Party Down” premieres on Starz in April.
The rest of the casting:
– Jones will play an employee of an IRS office in “Tax Man,” a comedy from writer Brent Forrester (“The Office”) and executive producer Ron Howard. He’s coming off a guest appearance on “House” earlier this season; other recent credits include “Rules of Engagement,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”
– “Luck,” from writer David Milch and director Michael Mann, stars Dustin Hoffman as an ex-con and gambler who returns to the world of horse racing after his release from prison. Coster (“The Bounty Hunter”) will play a wannabe tough guy, THR says.
– In “Episodes,” Monroe (“Drive,” “Cellular”) will play an actress who’s 42 but thanks to extensive plastic surgery looks 24 (Monroe’s real age is somewhere in between). The show is about a British comedy-writing duo (Claire Forlani and Stephen Mangan) who bring their critically acclaimed show to the U.S., only to see it dumbed down. “Friends” star LeBlanc will play a version of himself who stars in the American version of the show.
Photo credits: Zap2it (Hansen), ABC (Jones)