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'Newsroom' Alum Boards ABC's 'Astronaut Wives Club'

Joel Johnstone will play Gus Grissom in the drama from Stephanie Savage.

Joel Johnstone Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy Working Entertainment
Joel Johnstone

ABC's Astronaut Wives Club is firming up the rest of its cast.

Newsroom alum Joel Johnstone has boarded the drama from Gossip Girl's Stephanie Savage, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The 1960s-set drama tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. The series marks the first pilot Savage has written since she co-created The CW's long-running Gossip Girl with her Fake Empire cohort Josh Schwartz. The project is based on Lily Koppel's best-selling novel published last summer. Janice Williams brought the project to Groundswell. Nick Cassavetes will direct the first entry in the 10-episode drama, which has been moved from summer to midseason.

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Johnstone will play Gus Grissom. Described as an average student and athlete, he may be the least likely astronaut, yet he proves himself to be one of NASA's top men and an extraordinary engineer who flies in the Mercury and Gemini missions -- and becomes the first man to go into space twice.

He stars opposite Once Upon a Time's JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who will play his wife, Betty Grissom. The cast also includes Hell on Wheels alum Dominique McElligott, Dexter's Desmond Harrington, Bret Harrison, Azure Parsons, Zoe Boyle and Odette Annable.

Johnstone's credits include recurring roles on HBO's Getting On, Lifetime's Deliverance Creek, Disney's Alexander the Terrible, Horrible, NO Good, Very Bad Day and a guest spot on ABC's Agents of SHIELD. He's repped by BRS Gage, McKuin Frankel and Working Entertainment.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit