Amy Pietz cast as lead in 'Novak'

Tom Verica, Kristen Dattilo also join drama pilot

Amy Pietz has been tapped for the title role in Lifetime's drama pilot "The Amazing Mrs. Novak."

The Warner Horizon/Kudos project, based on the six-part U.K. series "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard," centers on Trish Novak (Pietz), a supermarket manager who unexpectedly becomes the governor of New Jersey.

Also cast in the pilot are Tom Verica as Novak's husband, Frank, and Kristen Dattilo as Goldie, her sister-in-law.

"Mrs. Novak," which was picked up in early August, has garnered a lot of heat recently with the ascent of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican presidential ticket.

Vanessa Taylor is the project's writer-showrunner. She exec produces with Carolyn Bernstein, Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett.

Pietz ("Aliens in America") is repped by Innovative.

Actor-director Verica ("American Dreams") is repped by IFA. Dattilo ("Dexter") is with Stone Manners and Kritzer/Levine/Wilkins Entertainment.

Verica next guest stars on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and next directs an episode of NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy."

"Mrs. Novak" is one of a few pilots picked up by Lifetime, including another U.K. adaptation, "Mistresses," from Fox 21, about a quartet of thirtysomething women who have been friends since college. Another is "Drop Dead Diva," from Sony, about a vapid model whose mind is put in the body of a brilliant but frumpy lawyer.