Byrne joins FX legal drama

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Rose Byrne has been tapped to star opposite Glenn Close in FX's untitled drama pilot from Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman.

Tate Donovan and Zeljko Ivanek also have been cast in the project from Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods.

The character-driven legal thriller centers on Ellen Parsons (Byrne), a beautiful, self-possessed attorney fresh out of law school who lands her dream job working for Patty Hughes (Close), America's foremost high-stakes litigator.

Byrne was cast after reading for the role with Close.

"It was spectacular," Todd Kessler said of Byrne's audition. "The chemistry between her and Glenn was phenomenal from the moment they got together."

Donovan will play Tom Kent, Hughes' senior legal associate and most trusted adviser, a measured, thoughtful and extremely able attorney.

Ivanek will play a Southern legal war horse, Hughes' opposing attorney in a major case that would play out during the show's first season.

Allen Coulter is directing the pilot, which is slated to begin production in early February in New York.

"The opportunity that both FX and Sony have given us is amazing, and the support from (FX's) John Landgraf and (SPT's) Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht has just been tremendous," Glenn Kessler said.

Byrne recently co-starred in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" and will next appear in "The Dead Girl" and "Sunshine." She is repped by CAA.

Donovan most recently co-starred on the Fox drama "The O.C." and starred opposite Anne Heche in the CBS original movie "Silver Bells." On the big screen, he co-starred in "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "The Pacifier" and will next appear in "Nancy Drew."

Donovan is repped by the Gersh Agency.

Ivanek, whose series credits include HBO's "Oz" and Fox's "24," is repped by Silver Massetti & Szatmary.
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