Cannavale in the 'M.O.N.Y.'


Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale has been tapped as the lead of "M.O.N.Y.," NBC's drama pilot from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, which is being directed by Spike Lee.

Meanwhile, Rachelle Lefevre has landed the female lead in "Life on Mars," David E. Kelley's drama pilot for ABC, "Malcolm in the Middle" star Bryan Cranston has signed on for the lead in AMC's drama pilot "Breaking Bad," "Justice" co-star Rebecca Mader has landed a co-starring role on ABC's drama pilot "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and former "ER" co-star Michael Michele has been cast in the ABC drama pilot "Judy's Got a Gun."

  "M.O.N.Y.," from NBC Universal TV Studio, centers on a socially conscious New York public advocate (Cannavale) who is thrust into the position of becoming interim mayor and struggles to balance his moral center with the hardball realities of New York politics.

Cannavale has a long-standing relationship with NBC and NBC Uni TV. He won an Emmy for his recurring role on the NBC/NBC Uni comedy "Will & Grace." He also had a development deal with the network and the studio and starred in their pilot "NY-70." This season, Cannavale has been among the thirtysomething actors in hot demand for leads in pilots. The actor, who recently appeared in the features "Fast Food Nation," "10 Items or Less" and "Dedication," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is repped by Paradigm and attorneys Ira Schreck and James Adams.

  "Life on Mars," from 20th Century Fox TV and David E. Kelley Prods., is based on the BBC series and centers on a detective who finds himself transported back to 1972 after his girlfriend has been kidnapped. Lefevre will play the lone female detective in the department in 1972 who forges a mystic bond with the mysterious detective and teams with him to track a serial killer. Lefevre (APA, Pearl Hanan Management) has had a recurring role on ABC's "What About Brian."

  "Breaking Bad," from Sony Pictures TV, centers on a high-school chemistry teacher (Cranston) who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, uses his skills to launch a meth lab in order to make money quickly and provide for his wife and handicapped son.

Cranston's role on "Malcolm" earned him three Emmy nominations. He most recently appeared in Oscar contender "Little Miss Sunshine" and in a multiepisode arc on CBS' comedy series "How I Met Your Mother."

  Based on the 2005 feature, "Smith," from Regency TV and Dutch Oven, revolves around John and Jane (Jordana Brewster) Smith, a married couple who are spies. Madert will play Jane's former assistant who is her top associate at the covert ops agency. Mader (Innovative Artists, attorney Neil Meyer) appeared in "The Devil Wears Prada."

  "Judy's" from Touchstone TV, is a procedural drama about Judy Lemen, a rookie female detective who struggles to balance her personal life as a single mother with her job investigating suburban crimes. Michele will play a focused, no-nonsense detective who becomes friends with Lemen.

  Also cast in "Judy's" is Steve Sandvoss ("Rumor Has It"), who will play a germ-phobic detective.

  In other pilot casting news, Dania Ramirez ("X-Men: The Last Stand") has been added to the cast of NBC's drama "Ft. Pit," set at one of the worst NYPD police precincts in Brooklyn. She will play a hard-boiled young cop, once a top narc but who was caught using the drugs she confiscated. Ramirez (ICM, Jeff Morrone) will next appear in "Illegal Tender."