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'Pushing Daisies' Alum Lee Pace to Star in AMC's '80s Computer Drama

Mackenzie Davis has also booked the female lead in the pilot directed by Juan Jose Campanella.

Lee Pace Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images
Lee Pace

AMC has set the leads for its drama pilot Halt and Catch Fire.

Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace has nabbed the starring role in the 1980s computer drama, while Mackenzie Davis is set to co-star, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Set in the early '80s, the drama revolves around the personal computing boom and is told through the eyes of a visionary and an engineer and prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. Their partnership will be challenged by greed and ego while charting the changing culture in Texas' Silicon Prairie.

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Pace, whose recent credits include The Hobbit, will play Joe MacMillan, who is often the smartest guy in the office and two steps ahead of both friends and enemies. Once a superstar salesman at IBM, he recently departed under mysterious circumstances only to resurface at an also-ran Dallas tech company named Cardiff Giant. He arrives in Dallas with a plan to force the company into the new era of the PC boom.

Davis, whose credits include Sundance's Breathe In, Smashed and the upcoming features The F-Word, Are We Officially Dating and Kitchen Sink, will play Cameron How, a punk computer-programming grad student whose aggressive behavior covers a vulnerability. Her ambition is a magnet for MacMillan, earning her a gig with Cardiff Giant.

Halt & Catch Fire is created by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, with Breaking Bad's Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein on board to executive produce. The effort hails from AMC Studios and Gran Via Productions.

Juan Jose Campanella (House) will direct the pilot.

Pace is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Peikoff Mahan; Davis is with UTA and Thruline; and Campanella is with CAA and Protocol.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit