Cole a smooth operator for Fox


After an extensive search, British actress Christina Cole has landed the lead in Fox's untitled Ian Biederman project.

In other major pilot castings, Michael Rady has become the first actor cast in the CW's new "Melrose Place," and Cole Hauser is set to lead the cast of CBS' drama "Washington Field."

Additionally, Michael Nouri has been cast in ABC's drama pilot "Empire State," and Anthony Carrigan, Michelle Borth, Bob Stephenson and Rochelle Aytes have joined ABC's untitled Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot.

The Biederman project, from 20th and Imagine, centers on a brilliant female surgeon (Cole) who endures adult-onset schizophrenia and thrives.

Cole, who has appeared mostly on British TV, is the second young U.K. actress to topline a drama pilot this season; Charity Wakefield stars in David E. Kelley's NBC dramedy "Legally Mad."

In the "Melrose" update, from CBS Par, Rady ("Swingtown") will play Jonah Miller, a cute and quirky 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker who makes his living as a videographer of weddings and bar mitzvahs for the rich and famous after moving to Los Angeles with his fiancee. The role is reminiscent of struggling writer Billy (Andrew Shue) from the original Fox series.

Rady, who recurred on ABC Family's "Greek," is repped by Gersh and Station 3.

"Field," from CBS Par, writer Ed Bernero and director Jon Cassar, revolves around an elite FBI team that handles crises around the world.

Hauser, who recently starred on "K-Ville" and in the feature "The Family That Preys," will play the squad's supervisor. He is repped by Paradigm.

The Romeo and Juliet drama "Empire State," from ABC Studios, centers on a blue-collar young man falling in love with a wealthy girl. Nouri ("Invincible") will play the girl's father.

The Bruckheimer project (formerly "The Unknown") from WBTV, is a mystery show about amateur detectives. Gersh-repped Carrigan will play a troubled artist recruited for his talent of facial reconstruction. Borth ("Tell Me You Love Me") will play a member of the team who has an office day job. Stephenson ("Jericho") will play another member of the team, a phone company worker. Aytes ("Drive") will play a city tough police detective.