HBO drama pilot casts a Simon family reunion


"The Wire" creator David Simon is recruiting some old friends for his new HBO pilot "Treme."

"Wire" alums Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters are set and Khandi Alexander, who worked with Simon on "The Corner," is in final negotiations to star in "Treme," which Simon created with Eric Overmyer.

Additionally, Golden Brooks and April Bowlby have joined the cast of Lifetime's drama pilot "Drop Dead Diva."

"Treme," which takes its title from an area in New Orleans, is exec produced by Simon, Overmyer and Nina Noble. It's a post-Katrina-themed drama that chronicles the rebuilding of the city through the eyes of local musicians.

Pierce will play Antoine Batiste, an accomplished jazz trombonist who is now scratching for gigs. He's trying to support a live-in girlfriend and a new baby while still carrying a torch for a failed marriage to Ladonna Batiste (Alexander), the mother of his two children, who is single-handedly keeping her bar afloat. Peters will play Albert Lambreaux, a big chief of the White Feather Nation.

Alexander is coming off CBS' "CSI: Miami" and could return to the show as a guest star.

"Diva" centers on a dead aspiring actress-model who is reincarnated in the body of Jane (Brooke Elliott), a chubby, brilliant attorney.

Brooks ("Girlfriends") will play Kim, a partner at Jane's law firm. She is repped by APA and Anonymous Content.

Bowlby ("Two and a Half Men") will play Stacy, a model and Jane's best friend. She's repped by WMA and Kritzer Levine Wilkins. (partialdiff)