Sissy Spacek joins John Wells pilot

11:50 AM PST 03/22/2010 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Medical drama centers on mobile team of volunteer doctors

In her first regular series gig, Oscar winner Sissy Spacek has been tapped as the lead on the John Wells-produced medical drama pilot on CBS.

The Warner Bros. TV-produced project, written by Hannah Shakespeare and to be directed by Christopher Chulack, centers on a mobile team of volunteer doctors led by a driven visionary (Spacek) that travels the world and the U.S. helping those in need.

Deeply committed to her work, Spacek's character, originally envisioned as a man, works around the clock, and expects her team to do likewise. Complicating things is her own cancer diagnosis, which requires agonizing chemo treatments at regular intervals, as well as her physician daughter's (Rachelle Lefevre) decision to join the team.

This is the second major drama pilot this season whose lead character's gender was switched to male to female for an Oscar-winning actress.

The curmudgeonly lawyer at the center of David E. Kelley's "Kindreds," also from WBTV, was conceived as a man, Harry Korn, but became Harriet when Bates came on board.

The name of the lead character on the CBS medical drama pilot will similarly be changed from Adrian to Adrianne for Spacek.

Spacek, repped by Innovative and Benderspink, is coming off a strong arc on HBO's drama "Big Love."

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