Networks see flurry of pilot castings

9:00 PM PST 03/08/2009 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Rupert Penry-Jones, Nina Dobrev land lead roles

Rupert Penry-Jones has been tapped as the lead in ABC's untitled Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot, and Bulgarian-born Canadian Nina Dobrev has landed the lead in the CW's drama pilot "Vampire Diaries."

In other major pilot castings, Tony Hale is set to star in Fox's comedy "Cop House," Morena Baccarin will play a lead in the ABC drama "V" and Eliza Coupe has been tapped for a lead in ABC's comedy "No Heroics."

Additionally, Luke Mably, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Anna Rose Hopkins have joined Fox's drama "Maggie Hill."

Meanwhile, Robbie Jones and Shannon Woodward have been added to ABC's drama "Limelight," Lana Parrilla has been cast in CBS' drama "Miami Trauma," Tammy Blanchard and Mel Raido have joined ABC's drama "Empire State," and Justina Machado has been cast in CBS' drama "Three Rivers."

The untitled Bruckheimer project, from WBTV, is a mystery series about a group of amateur detectives led by a former cop (U.K.-born Penry-Jones), whose 11-year-old daughter was kidnapped three years ago with no leads.

Based on Alloy's novels, WBTV's "Vampire" centers on Elena (Dobrev), a tragic heroine who is the object of passion for two vampire brothers. She is repped by Innovative.

20th TV's "House" is set at a halfway house for troubled cops. Hale ("Arrested Development"), who co-starred on Fox's comedy pilot "Boldly Going Nowhere" and recurs on "Chuck," will play a cop who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"V," from WBTV, is a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an invasion of aliens known as Visitors and the resistance against them. The ICM-repped Baccarin will play Anna, the leader of the Visitors who is remarkably knowledgeable about human culture and media manipulation.

ABC Studios' "Heroics" revolves around four B-list superheroes living among us. Coupe will play one of them, a bad girl who can turn invisible.

On 20th/Imagine/Brian Grazer's "Hill," about a brilliant surgeon with schizophrenia (Christina Cole), Mably will play her boyfriend, a handsome doctor. Akinnagbe, repped by Stone Manners and Mosaic, will play Maggie's rival, an arrogant surgeon. Hopkins will play Maggie's younger sister.

In WBTV/McG's "Limelight," set at a performing-arts college, Jones, repped by Gersh and Untitled, and Woodward, repped by Endeavor and Untitled, will play an inspired percussionist and a talented actress, respectively, who audition for the academy.

WBTV/Bruckheimer's "Trauma" is an ensemble action medical show set in a Miami trauma center. In it, Parrilla will play a brilliant surgeon who becomes the leader of the trauma team.

On ABC Studios' contemporary Romeo and Juliet story "Empire," about a blue-collar man falling in love with a wealthy girl, Blanchard will play the man's cousin and close friend, a successful attorney. Raido will play the girl's ruthless and manipulating brother.

On CBS Par's "Rivers," about doctors performing transplants, Machado will play an operating assistant.
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