'Rules' apply for Bierko

McKidd begins journey on NBC

In the latest round of major pilot castings, Craig Bierko has been cast as the lead in Fox's comedy "The Rules of Starting Over" for director Bobby Farrelly, and "Rome" star Kevin McKidd has been tapped as the lead in NBC's drama "Journeyman."

In addition, Zachary Levi has landed the title role on NBC's drama "Chuck" for director McG, Mark Valley is set as one of the two leads on NBC's comedy "Business Class," "ER" co-star Shane West has joined Fox's "Supreme Courtships" and Jane Lynch has come on board NBC's comedy "Area 52."

"Rules," from 20th Century Fox TV, centers on a thirtysomething newly single man (Bierko) and his recently divorced friends.

Bierko, who has been recurring on ABC's "Boston Legal," recently was seen in the feature "For Your Consideration."

Rashida Jones also has been cast in the pilot, playing a partner at a law firm looking for a decent guy. She recurs on NBC's "The Office."

"Journeyman," from 20th TV, is an epic fantasy about a man (McKidd) who travels back in time to fix people's lives, but by recalibrating the past, he sometimes alters the future.

The Scotish-born McKidd plays Lucius Vorenus on "Rome." On the big screen, he next will be seen in "Hannibal Rising" and "The Last Legion."

"Chuck," from Warner Bros. TV, centers on Chuck (Levi), a comedic Jason Bourne who undertakes missions every week while still working his day job as a computer geek. Levi, co-star of ABC's "Less Than Perfect," had a role in "Big Momma's House 2."

Also cast in "Chuck" is Adam Baldwin, who will play a hardened veteran agent who realizes that Chuck is the NSA's most valuable commodity. The project reunites Baldwin (Innovative Artists, Lighthouse Entertainment) with his "We Are Marshall" helmer McG.

"Business Class," from NBC Universal Network TV and Dutch Oven, centers on two men who live in a world of airplanes, cookie-cutter hotel chains and expense-account restaurants. Valley will play one of them, an incredibly charismatic and completely amoral salesman.

Valley (Paradigm, manager Mary Goldberg) co-stars on "Boston Legal" as attorney Brad Chase.

"Courtships," from 20th TV, is a comedic drama about the personal and professional lives of six Supreme Court clerks, one of them played by West, and the judges they work for. West plays Ray Barnett on "ER."

"Area 52," from NBC Uni TV, is about government employees in a secret location in the Arizona desert. Lynch (Domain) is recurring on "Boston Legal."

In other pilot casting news:

Malcolm Barrett (Fox's "Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show"), W. Earl Brown (HBO's "Deadwood") and Riki Lindhome ("Million Dollar Baby") have joined the Fox/20th TV comedy "The Minister of Divine," about a woman (Kirstie Alley), known for her rebellious younger days, who returns to her small hometown to be a minister. Barrett (Gersh, manager Craig Dorfman) will play a fastidious dentist who dreams of opening an opera house in the town. Brown will play a Southern boy who is into women and NASCAR. Lindhome will play a part-time Dairy Queen waitress and reverend's assistant.

Margo Harshman has been cast in the ABC/Touchstone TV drama pilot "Judy's Got a Gun," playing a feisty cop.
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