ABC grows 'Family'; HBO builds 'Empire'


Jason Winer has been tapped to direct and Sofia Vergara to co-star on ABC's comedy pilot "An American Family," and Stephen Graham has reunited with his "Gangs of New York" director Martin Scorsese with a role on the HBO pilot "Boardwalk Empire."

In other pilot news, Dean Parisot is set to direct ABC's "I, Claudia," Yves Simoneau will helm ABC's sci-fi drama "V," and Eden Sher has been added to ABC's comedy "The Middle."

The single-camera "Family," from 20th TV, revolves around three families: one traditional; another that includes a 60-year-old who becomes a stepfather after marrying a Latina (Vergara) 30 years his junior; and a gay couple.

Vergara's casting stems from her talent deal with ABC. She is repped by Endeavor.

ICM-repped Winer recently wrote, directed and exec produced the ABC pilot "This Might Hurt."

Written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, HBO's "Empire" chronicles the early 20th century origins of Atlantic City, N.J., and revolves around Nucky Johnson (Steve Buscemi), who runs a liquor distribution ring, and Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), a ruthless, low-level flunky.

Graham will play Al Capone, then in his 20s. He is working as the muscle for a Chicago gangster and hits it off with Jimmy.

Graham next appears in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies." He is repped by the U.K.'s Independent Talent Group and Kritzer Levine Wilkins.

The ABC Studios-produced "Claudia" centers on a female prosecuting attorney and future U.S. presidential contender.

The CAA-repped Parisot recently signed to direct Universal's "Slap Shot" remake.

In other ABC/ ABC Studios pilot-director hires, WMA-repped Jeremy Podeswa ("The Pacific") will helm the modern Romeo and Juliet tale "Empire State."

"V," from WBTV, is a reimagining of the 1980s mini that will center on a Homeland Security agent.

The Endeavor-repped Simoneau directed the pilot for USA's "The 4400."

The WBTV-produced "Middle" revolves around a middle-class family with three kids through the eyes of the Mom (Patricia Heaton).

Sher ("Weeds") will play the middle child. She is repped by Kazarian/Spencer/Ruskin and Kritzer Levine Wilkins. (partialdiff)