The latest pilot casting news includes prominent roles in a couple of dramas with musical elements.
Former “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee has joined the cast of “Smash,” NBC’s drama pilot about the making of a Broadway musical. McPhee — who starred in a sitcom pilot for the Peacock last year — will play a struggling actress who’s trying to land the lead role in the musical, which is about Marilyn Monroe (which presumably means we’ll hear her sing as well). “FlashForward’s” Jack Davenport has also joined the cast. [Deadline]
Jesse L. Martin (“Law & Order”) has signed on for a different kind of good guys vs. bad guys story. He’s the first actor cast in “Hallelujah,” “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry‘s story of a fight between good and evil in a small Tennessee town; Martin will play a mysterious drifter. Like “Smash,” “Hallelujah” also has a musical element: A gospel choir will comment on the action. No word on whether Martin, who starred in “Rent” on Broadway, will get to sing too. [EW]
The “Bones” spinoff FOX will attempt to launch later this spring has found its female lead. Saffron Burrows (“Law & Order: CI,” “My Own Worst Enemy”) will play the right-hand woman to Walter “The Locator” Sherman (Geoff Stults), who specializes in finding people who don’t want to be found. The spinoff’s cast will appear in episode 19 of “Bones” this season. [Deadline]
Drama pilots at ABC and The CW and a comedy at ABC have signed directors. Mark Mylod (“Shameless”) will helm the pilot for ABC’s drama “Once Upon a Time,” about a place where fairy tales might be real; John Dahl (“The Last Seduction,” “Dexter”) will direct “Cooper and Stone,” a show about young female detectives at The CW; and Beth McCarthy-Miller (“30 Rock”) will direct “Work It,” an ABC comedy about two guys who dress as women to land jobs as drug-sales reps. [Deadline]