'Fringe' finds young tough


Australian actress Anna Torv is J.J. Abrams' latest discovery.

The newcomer to the U.S. has been tapped as the lead in "Fringe," Fox's high-profile sci-fi drama from Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

Veteran TV and stage actress Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole also have joined the cast.

The two-hour pilot, being directed by Alex Graves, centers on Olivia Warren (Torv), a young, tough FBI agent who is forced to confront the spread of unexplained phenomena and work with Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), an institutionalized scientist whose work might be at the center of a coming storm.

On the Warner Bros. TV/Bad Robot drama, Brown will play the brilliant Nina Cord, a 16-year veteran at Prometheus Corp., a cutting-edge research facility. Nicole will play the recurring role of Astrid, a stunning federal assistant.

The three join the previously cast Noble, Lance Reddick and Kirk Acevedo.

Abrams is known for breaking new female talent on his TV series with the casting of Keri Russell on "Felicity," Jennifer Garner on "Alias" and Evangeline Lilly on "Lost."

In her native Australia, Torv has co-starred on such TV series as "The Secret Life of Us" and "Young Lions." She is repped by Endeavor.

Tony winner Brown is probably best known for her Emmy-nominated role on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd." She is repped by Innovative Artists and Viking Entertainment.

Nicole co-starred last year on NBC's pilot "The Mastersons of Manhattan."