'Family' affair for Coolidge, Ruck at ABC


Jennifer Coolidge and Alan Ruck have been tapped to star in ABC's comedy pilot "Family of the Year."

Additionally, Alanna Ubach has joined Fox's comedy pilot "Playing Chicken," Josh Dean has come aboard another Fox comedy pilot, "The Beast," Alex Borstein has been cast in ABC's comedy pilot "The Thick of It," and Anna Chlumsky has landed a lead in CW's comedy pilot "Eight Days a Week."

 "Family," from 20th TV, revolves around the Halloways, a 10-time winner of the "family of the year" title in their dusty New Mexico home town. Coolidge, recently seen in "Click" and "For Your Consideration," will play the family's matriarch, a former beauty queen. "Spin City" alum Ruck will play her affable but not very bright husband.

 "Chicken," from WBTV and Werner-Gold-Miller, centers on two brothers with opposite political views who are forced to live together after one (Norbert Leo Butz) suffers an accident that leaves him in a wheelchair. Ubach will play his physical therapist, on whom he has a crush. Ubach (Gersh, Margrit Polak Management) had a talent deal with WGM this season.

 "Beast," from CBS Par TV and FremantleMedia, centers on a womanizing veterinarian (Steve Howey). Dean (Gersh, manager Jerry Silverhardt, attorney Jamie Mandelbaum) will play the vet's assistant. The casting stems from the actor's talent holding deal with Fox.

 "Thick," from Sony TV and BBC Worldwide Prods., follows the workers in the office of a low-level congressman. "Mad TV" alumna Borstein will play the congressman's press secretary.

 "Eight Days," from CBS Par TV and Hazy Mills, centers on four twentysomethings who work under the top movers and shakers in New York City. Chlumsky, who hit stardom as Macaulay Culkin's co-star in the 1991 "My Girl," will play one of them, a girl-next-door personal assistant to an egomaniacal Web site publisher.