Higgins back in 'Thick of It' for ABC sitcom


John Michael Higgins has been tapped to lead the cast of ABC's comedy "The Thick of It."

Additionally, veteran Bill Smitrovich and Jason Antoon have joined Fox's comedy pilot "Me & Lee," Mark Moses and Smith Cho have been added to ABC's untitled D.C. comedy pilot, and Paul F. Thompkins and Amanda Detmer have been cast as the leads in CBS' comedy pilot "1321 Clover."

In other pilot casting news, "Strong Medicine" star Rosa Blasi has been cast in the CW comedy "Eight Days a Week," while "Living Single" alum Kim Coles has been added to another CW comedy, "Hell on Earth."

"Thick," from Sony Pictures TV and BBC Worldwide Prods., focuses on the nonpartisan high jinks that ensue in the office of a newly elected congressman (Higgins). The show reunites Higgins with the project's writer/executive producer, Mitch Hurwitz; Higgins recurred on Hurwitz's previous series, the Emmy- winning "Arrested Development." The actor next will appear in "Evan Almighty."

"Me & Lee" from Lionsgate, centers on Joel (Jamie Kennedy), a chronic back pain victim who gets more than he bargained for when he undergoes "bionic" surgery in a secret lab run by actor Lee Majors (playing himself) in the basement of his Beverly Hills mansion. Smitrovich will play Joel's obnoxious and opinionated father, and Antoon will play the lab's technician.

Smitrovich, who most recently appeared in the two-part Super Bowl episode of "Criminal Minds" and recurs on CBS' "Without a Trace," is repped by the Kohner Agency and Lighthouse Entertainment.

Antoon's recent credits include the features "The Ten," "Music and Lyrics" and the upcoming "Perfect Stranger" and the mini-series "The Lost Room."

The untitled D.C. project, from WBTV, is a comedic soap about an aide (Eric Christian Olsen) to a Democratic senator who falls for the daughter (Michelle Trachtenberg) of his boss' arch enemy, a Republican senator (Moses). Cho (Gersh, Gateway Management Partners) will play the daughter's best friend. She co-starred on ABC's "Emily's Reasons Why Not."

"Clover," from CBS Par TV, is a documentary-style comedy about a typical suburban family. Comedian Thompkins will play the husband, an insecure man. Detmer, who co-stars on ABC's "What About Brian," will play his patient and loving wife and mother of two. Also cast in the pilot is Logan Grove as their 6-year-old son.

"Eight," from CBS Par TV and Hazy Mills, centers on four twentysomethings employed by top movers and shakers in New York. Blasi will play one of the bosses, a big-name personal publicist.

"Hell," from CBS Par TV, centers on a "mean girl" who gets hit by a bus, goes to purgatory and is given a second chance at life as an ordinary girl. Coles will play an angel.