Duo land as leading men

Coster-Waldau, Vartan topline

Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has landed the lead in Fox's Lasse Hallstrom-directed drama pilot "New Amsterdam," to which David Mason has come on board as executive producer/showrunner.

Meanwhile, "Alias" star Michael Vartan has been tapped to topline ABC's untitled Jon Feldman drama pilot, which is being directed by Charles McDougall, and Gabrielle Union is set to star in another ABC drama pilot, the Bryan Singer-directed "Football Wives."

"Amsterdam," from Regency TV, Scarlet Fire Films, Sarabande Prods. and Laha Films, centers on John Amsterdam (Coster-Waldau), a man cursed with immortality who works as a homicide detective in New York. On the pilot, Mason (FX's "Thief") will executive produce alongside Allan Loeb, Christian Taylor, Hallstrom, Steven Pearl and Leslie Holleran. Coster-Waldau's English-language feature credits include "Wimbledon," "Black Hawk Down" and "Firewall." He is repped by Endeavor and Jill Littman at Handprint Entertainment.

The Feldman project, from Warner Bros. TV, revolves around four high-powered CEOs or CEOs-to-be who are all friends. Vartan will play the new CEO of a large corporation who is described as the moral center of the show. For five seasons, Vartan (Endeavor, Stephen Hanks Management) played Agent Michael Vaughn on "Alias."

"Football Wives," from Touchstone TV, is a U.S. version of the popular British soap that will focus on wives of professional football players. Union will play an ex-model-turned-recording artist who is the gorgeous fiancee of a star wide receiver. Union (UTA, Jeff Morrone), most recently seen in "Running With Scissors," next stars in Tyler Perry's "Daddy's Little Girl."

In other pilot casting news:

"Sleeper Cell" co-star Melissa Sagemiller has joined the cast of NBC's drama pilot "Life." The project, from NBC Universal TV Studio, centers on a falsely imprisoned cop (Damian Lewis) who rejoins the force as a changed man. Sagemiller will play the lawyer who got him out of prison. There is a spark between the two, despite the fact that she is married. Sagemiller (Gersh Agency, Benderspink) will next be seen in the film "Mr. Woodcock."

Noah Bean has been added to the cast of FX's untitled Kessler/Kessler/Zelman drama pilot from Sony Pictures TV. In the legal thriller about a young attorney (Rose Byrne) going to work for the most feared and respected high-stakes litigator (Glenn Close), Bean (Gersh, Commonwealth Talent Group) will play the young woman's fiance.