CBS sees Baker as 'Mentalist'


Simon Baker has signed on for his third CBS drama pilot.

Baker is set as the lead in the network's "The Mentalist," from writer Bruno Heller and director David Nutter.

Meanwhile, Omar Gooding has joined the cast of another CBS project, the drama presentation "Can Openers."

On the pilot pickup front, ABC gave the green light to Tom Wheeler's fantasy-drama "Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas."

The Warner Bros. TV-produced "Mentalist" centers on Patrick Jane (Baker), a mentalist who uses his skills of observation to solve crimes as an independent detective working with the police.

Also cast in the pilot are Owain Yeoman, Shaun Toub, Amanda Righetti and Tim Kang.

Baker previously starred in CBS' pilots "The Guardian" and "Smith," both of which went to series. He recently wrapped "Not Forgotten" and "The Lodger" and next will be seen in Daniel Waters' "Sex and Death 101." He is repped by CAA and Untitled.

Righetti ("The O.C.") is repped by Paradigm and Mosaic.

"Openers," from Sony, stars Lauren Lee Smith as a brain surgeon who fights to survive in the competitive boys club that is the seven-year neurosurgical residency.

Gooding (Showtime's "Barbershop") will play Dr. Darryl Childress, a sixth-year resident suffering from burnout. He is repped by Innovative and Michael Fuller.

"Atlas," from WBTV, is described as "Harry Potter" meets "Pan's Labyrinth." It centers on a young girl who finds a magical atlas that reveals a secret world underneath our world.

The WMA-repped Wheeler also is adapting his fantasy novel "The Arcanum" for Gold Circle and director Randall Wallace.