'Veronica Mars' alum to star in NBC pilot


"Veronica Mars" alum Ryan Hansen has been tapped to lead the cast of NBC's comedy pilot "Friends With Benefits," and Orlando Jones is set as a lead in Fox's comedy pilot "Tax Man."

Additionally, Mircea Monroe is set as a regular on Showtime's new comedy series "Episodes," starring Matt LeBlanc, and Ritchie Coster has landed a lead role in HBO's drama pilot "Luck."

The IRS project is a workplace comedy set at an Internal Revenue Service district office and centers on a proud auditor (David Krumholtz) hounded constantly by his boss (Martin Short). Jones will play a co-worker.

"Benefits" revolves around five twentysomething friends who, until they find "the one," are content to have "friends with benefits."

It centers on Ben (Hansen), an Everyman who, while waiting for Ms. Perfect, enjoys a relationship with Sara (Danneel Harris), a doctor trying to find Mr. Right.

Hansen replaces Patrick J. Adams, originally cast in the role.

Gersh-repped Hansen has co-starsred on Starz's "Party Down."

"Episodes," which has a seven-episode order, revolves around a successful British husband-and-wife comedy team (Claire Forlani, Stephen Mangan) tapped to produce a U.S. version of their hit series. They are forced to replace the erudite British lead in the original with LeBlanc, who is playing a version of himself, and begin to sink deeper into the quicksand that is the Hollywood TV business.

Monroe will play a 42-year-old actress who looks 24 after having a lot of work done.

"Luck," from Michael Mann and David Milch, takes a look at the worlds of horse racing and gambling through a group of characters surrounding a racetrack. It centers on an intelligent, intuitive tough man (Dustin Hoffman) who always has been involved with gambling.

Coster will play Renzo, a sweet-spirited mope-wannabe who borrows from a shylock to finance his position with the syndicate.
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