'American Horror Story's' James Cromwell to Co-Star in ABC Thriller 'Betrayal'

James Cromwell AFI Fest - P 2012
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI

James Cromwell AFI Fest - P 2012

James Cromwell is going from playing a powerful doctor to a powerful family man.

The Emmy and Oscar nominee has joined the cast of the ABC drama pilot Betrayal, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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The drama centers on Sara (Boss' Hannah Ware), a beautiful but unhappily married photographer who begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved.

Cromwell, fresh off his arc on FX anthology American Horror Story: Asylum, will play Terence Karsten, the head of a powerful Chicago family. He's described as ruthless, shady and an unsavory entrepreneur whose in-house counsel, Jack, is married to his daughter, Elaine, and is the boy Terence and his late wife, Sofia, raised after Jack's parents (who both worked for Terence) died on one of his construction sites.

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ER's David Zabel will pen the pilot and executive produce alongside Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya for ABC Studios. Patty Jenkins will direct the pilot, which co-stars Henry Thomas.

Cromwell, whose recent credits include The Artist, Secretariat and playing George H.W. Bush in W., is repped by Paradigm. He earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role in 1995's Babe and Emmy mentions for his work on Six Feet Under, ER and RKO 281.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit